Lara Poloni: redressing construction’s ancient male bias (Aecom)

Companies

Aecom Australia strikes perfect gender balance in graduate recruitment – and pay

10 August 2016 | By GCR Staff | 1 Comment

Aecom’s Australian arm has announced that it has hit its target of recruiting as many women as men from the 2017 graduate pool.

Lara Poloni, the US consultant’s chief executive for Australia and New Zealand, said: “Considering the low representation of women studying science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects in Australia, I’m very proud of our 2017 intake of 119, where we have managed to achieve a fifty-fifty gender split for the very first time – with 100% gender pay equity.”

The company has also reported progress towards its aim of appointing women to 20% of its senior management roles by 2020.

I have twins, a boy and a girl, and I want my daughter to have exactly the same opportunities in life as my son– Lara Poloni, Aecom’s chief executive for Australia and New Zealand

The number of female staff with the rank of associate director and above has risen from 10% to 12.6% after a 12-month campaign.

Poloni said: “We have had to be bolder in the market to get more than our fair share of senior female hires. In the last year we have appointed Nicole Stoddart as managing director to lead our new Construction Services business and Kate Drews and Annette Pittman as group directors of our Buildings + Places practices in Sydney and Brisbane respectively.”

The company has also reduced the gender pay gap 3.4% across its 2,750 Australian employees.

The company’s decision to achieve a better balance between the sexes was recognised with a “gender diversity award” at an Engineers Australia ceremony this week.

In an interview last year with diversity consultant Mitchell Services, Ms Poloni commented: “I have to think about it in terms of my family. I have twins, a boy and a girl, and I want my daughter to have exactly the same opportunities in life as my son.”

Image: Lara Poloni: redressing construction’s ancient male bias (Aecom)