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24 April 2015

Leaders in Infrastructure join forces for Diversity & Inclusion series.

AECOM has enlisted partners from across Australia’s infrastructure landscape to launch an event series committed to addressing the structural, cultural, personal and interpersonal barriers hampering business efforts to promote gender diversity and inclusion.

The Leaders In Infrastructure Series will see executives gather alongside AECOM Chief Executive - Australia New Zealand, Lara Poloni on Wednesday 29 April for a panel discussion featuring Telstra Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Troy Roderick, and University of Queensland Research Fellow Terry Fitzsimmons, facilitated by Leith Mitchell, Director Mitchell Services.

Subsequent workshops and events will see representatives from major infrastructure industry partners including the Queensland Department of Transport & Main Roads, Queensland Urban Utilities, Aurizon, Laing O’Rourke, Energex and Robert Walters produce an action plan to address key barriers to an increased focus on diversity in the  workplace, in doing so initiating or continuing positive change in their respective organisations.

Further, a survey produced by AECOM and Robert Walters will assist series partners gain a better understanding of how companies’ Diversity & Inclusion efforts are perceived by both candidates and companies themselves, and how these perceptions affect talent attraction and retention efforts.

The Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) 2013-2014 Scorecard on Gender Equality recognises that lifting female workforce participation and closing the gap in earnings between women and men “is a significant national productivity imperative”.

Ms Poloni, the first woman to lead AECOM’s Australia and New Zealand region, said businesses needed to continuously challenge barriers relating to unconscious bias, inflexible working conditions and pay inequality if they wanted to be an employer of choice and trusted client partner.

As one of 62 Australian business leaders to have signed on as an ambassador for the Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s (WGEA) In Your Hands campaign, she is encouraging other business leaders to recognise pay equity as a key business imperative.

“Our clients have told us how important it is to do business with firms that are showing real leadership in addressing the issues of pay inequality and unconscious bias,” she said.

 

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