Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



August/September 2011

Diversity/Careers August/September 2011 Issue

Native Americans
ChEs & EnvEs
Medical devices
Business intelligence
Defense contractors
Great Minds in STEM
Grace Hopper
PhD Project

WBEs in technology
News & Views
WBENC connections
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views

GE Healthcare Advertisement
Telephonics AOptix Technologies
Office of Naval Research ITT

Diversity In Action

AECOM is hiring in engineering & other technical fields

The company seeks both individual contributors and managers to work in planning, water, wastewater, energy, environment, transportation and more

Two years ago AECOM began a remake of its diversity and inclusion programs and activities. Today this global firm is expanding its diversity recruiting, implementing worldwide diversity councils and fostering rapid growth of grassroots employee resource groups.

Job opportunities abound in engineering, architectural and other technical fields, with positions for recent grads as well as experienced pros, says Teuila Hanson, VP of diversity and inclusion. The corporation is actively filling its pipeline with fresh talent while also encouraging its seasoned staff to develop their careers. As many as 2,000 new employees may join the company in 2011, Hanson believes.

AECOM provides professional, technical and management support services to commercial and government organizations in transportation planning and infrastructure, facilities construction and management, environmental and energy projects and water and wastewater management. There's always need for tech pros with structural, design and engineering backgrounds in all these areas.

"We need engineers both as specialized individual contributors and in management," Hanson says. Of particular interest are environmental engineers, pipeline engineers, highway/ bridge engineers, architects, planners, principal engineers and project/program managers. In fact, even people without a four-year degree may qualify if they're certified in CAD design or drawing.

"We also look for highly specialized individuals with a strong design background and a focus on planning, water, wastewater, environment or transportation. We'll hire experienced project directors, project managers and program managers even if they don't have specific engineering or science backgrounds, as long as they show the ability to manage teams, foster strong client relationships and take responsibility for oversight of large budgets."

AECOM looks for a global mindset, even for work in the U.S. "We need people with cultural awareness. We're a country of multiple generations and great ethnic diversity, so we look for people with strong communication skills who understand how to work with others and in teams," Hanson says.

AECOM has a manager of college relations who works with a "robust list" of HBCUs and other colleges that graduate minority and female techies, Hanson adds. The corporation maintains partnerships with NSBE, SWE and other professional societies including the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials and WTS, the former Women's Transportation Seminar.

New hires are given a package of information about the company including its commitment to diversity and inclusion. AECOM has an enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion training program targeted to senior leaders, while other employees participate in online training modules. A discussion of specific attitudes toward diversity and inclusion is always part of employees' annual reviews.

Globally the corporation has a worldwide leadership development and diversity committee that meets in person twice a year. There's also a global women's council, plus a North American women's leadership collaborative.

A wide range of subgroups look at diversity from enterprise-wide and gender perspectives. One is the North American diversity and action technical liaison committee, made up of engineers, designers and planners. "They're the champions in technical practices that help advance diversity," Hanson says.

Grassroots employee resource groups include the Middle East women's forum, a working parents group in Australia, and the North American women's leadership collaborative. "There's something for you wherever you are on the globe," Hanson says, "but sometimes it's hard to get a good critical mass of people in one place at one time," because of the company's many U.S. and international locations.

There are other unique challenges to diversity issues for a multinational company. "When we talk about diversity, we're talking about two dozen different dimensions of diversity," Hanson says.

The company has strong leadership development programs in place. "We monitor the generations of our workforce and are making sure we have a pipeline of new talent."

AECOM offers flexible work arrangements and provides company-wide support for childcare and eldercare, tuition assistance and domestic partner benefits.

Around the world, AECOM employees tend to be active in their local communities. "In North America we have engineers volunteering in local high schools for engineering and science fairs. We have environmental cleanup participation activities built around Earth Day. In the San Francisco office we've hosted groups of students coming from Mexico to learn about architecture and design.

"There's a whole array of those activities," Hanson concludes.



Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
Employees: 45,000 worldwide
Revenues: $7.3 billion in FY ending March 2011
Business: Global professional, technical and management support services to a broad range of government and commercial markets, including transportation, facilities, environment, energy and water

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