Jacobs Women's Network celebrates IWD asking 'What if we could better the balance?'
July 23, 2019
Jacobs firmly believes that inclusion, connectedness and diversity forge creativity in a company.
Jacobs drives inclusion and diversity in everything they do, including recruiting and developing the best talent and in fostering leadership and innovation.
That's why for International Women's Day Jacobs asked the question: “What if?"
What if the company could better the balance and deliver a more connected, sustainable world through highlighting inclusion as its differentiator? What if the company brought innovative thought and solutions to their clients by celebrating innovative women? What if Jacobs could encourage the younger generation to follow suit?
Jacobs Women's Network organized IWD initiatives
The Jacobs Women’s Network (JWN) is an employee-led and employee-organized group with 5,000+ members and 124 chapters across 26 countries. JWN is accelerating a cultural shift by empowering women and promoting gender equality.
JWN included its global chapters in its IWD celebrations by encouraging them to share pictures and articles of their local IWD activities on Jacobs's internal intranet homepage. JWN, in collaboration with corporate communications, focused on the theme of #BalanceforBetter to develop a script for the linked video released on the Jacobs YouTube channel along with an external press release showcasing its network achievements and inspirational members.
Helping global chapters overcome obstacles to celebration
Involving and engaging employees across coutnries was a key objective for Jacobs.
Jacobs recognized that time and resources are often obstacles in planning and celebrating these important days. To overcome these two hurdles, JWN allowed chapters to apply for global funding and created the linked IWD themed Content Sheet to provide ideas supporting chapters and members to celebrate the important moment. The content included meeting ideas, book and article recommendations, podcasts and videos. The funding and streamlined planning enabled more chapters to participate and present their activity to members.
Sustainability award for continued endeavors for gender equality
In celebration of IWD, JWN was recognized with one of Jacobs’ quarterly CFO sustainability awards for their continued endeavors for gender equality across its global company, including specific work aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs). The heart of what JWN does as a network is built on the foundation of UN SDGs 5 and 10. This accomplishment helped motivate JWN membership given the timely acknowledgment.
Language is key
In the context of ensuring greater diversity and inclusion, Jacobs has even seen the company's CEO Steve Demetriou change his title from "Chairman & CEO" to "Chair and CEO".
While IWD might be one day, Jacobs is keen to continue forging a balance for better.
Ongoing action plans include supporting the establishment of inclusion and diversity metrics for senior leaders, developing and promoting Inclusive Leadership Workshops, a Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) Leaders Program Sponsorship and continued spotlights on high-potential women and male champions.
There are also plans for expanding the global parental leave policies, developing guidelines for gender-balanced interviewing panels and collaborating with human resources for succession planning aimed at engaging and supporting future leaders, among several other key activities.