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News Mar 6, 2019

Bettering the Balance with Innovation

What if we showed you how we’re bettering the balance – by highlighting inclusion as our differentiator in bringing innovative thought and solutions to our clients and by celebrating the innovative women across our business?

International Women's Day 2019

For the 2014-2015 class, women earned almost half (49.8 percent) of all professional degrees, including law and medicine – and in 2017, women represented nearly 47 percent of the total workforce. But according to the United Nations, females still represent only 22 percent of the STEM workforce.

At Jacobs, we’re creating a company like no other. One that’s put the spotlight on ensuring that we’re an employer of choice in every way – in inclusion and diversity, in recruiting and developing the best talent and in fostering leadership and innovation. Because as the UN puts it, “nothing matters more for progress, strong sustainable economies and quality living standards than innovation,” and we know that if we are inclusive, we’re more connected, and if we are diverse, we’re more creative.

That’s why we joined the 2018 Catalyst CEO Champions for Change initiative and why, on International Women’s Day, we’re asking “what if”… what if we could better the balance and deliver a more connected, sustainable world, if we could highlight inclusion as our differentiator, if by celebrating the innovative women across our business we could encourage the younger generation to follow suit?

Jacobs Women’s Network

Ranked in the top quartile of Forbes’ Best Employers for Diversity, we continue to advance inclusion and diversity to create an environment where all employees can thrive.

Our Jacobs Employee Networks, including the Jacobs Women’s Network (JWN), play a critical role in fostering our Culture of Caring in the work they do. 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.

And the network just won one of Jacobs quarterly CFO sustainability awards for their continued endeavors for gender equality across our global company, including specific work aligned to the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals (UN SDGs).

“We are both honored and thrilled to have our global Jacobs Women’s Network receive this coveted recognition for our progress and FY19 planning during the past quarter,” says Jacobs Project Manager and JWN Communications Co-Lead Lindsay Gerding. “The heart of what we do as a network of +5,000 members is built on the foundation of UN SDGs 5 and 10, which perfectly aligns with our company’s vision for a more connected, sustainable world. This acknowledgement will continue to fuel our passion as cultural change agents and inclusion and diversity ambassadors in Jacobs as we continue our journey to become a company like no other.”

JWN specifically supports:

  • UN SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. In 2018, the network established network vision, mission, values and leadership, spotlighted high-potential women and male champions and held global calls, produced newsletters and internal communication campaigns including videos for events such as International Women’s Day, International Women and Girls in Science Day and International Women in Engineering Day. For 2019, JWN’s continued 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.
  • UN SDG 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries. In 2018, the network established JWN chapters in 124 locations and collaborated with our executive leaders and human resources to establish parental leave in the U.S. In 2019, action plans include advocating for expansion of 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.

Additionally, the JWN donated to Water For People’s Women + Girl’s initiative, furthering its commitment to truly advancing equality and delivering a more connected, sustainable world.

Meet some of our innovators

Taking a note from JWN, in honor of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting just a few of the bright Jacobs women solving the world’s greatest challenges every day by transforming intangible ideas into intelligent solutions.

Engineering Georgia: Top 100 Most Influential Women and 50 Women to Know

Across Georgia (and the world!), women are influencing the design, growth and success of communities, businesses and projects. Engineering Georgia magazine recently selected 100 of the most influential women in Georgia and 50 Women to Know – and several Jacobs women made the lists! These women of character, integrity and purpose have taken bold steps in creating their own paths:

  • Top 100 Most Influential Women: Director of Public Works for the City of Johns Creek, Georgia Lynette Baker, CEP; Vice President and Transit Client Account Manager Rhonda Briggins, JD; Division Vice President, Georgia Transportation Manager Daveitta Jenkins Knight, PE.
  • 50 Women to Know: Environmental/Planning Department Manager Regan Hammond.

An award-winning, smile-giving experience

Fatima Iqbal, JWN Chapter Lead for Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, recently received an outstanding individual safety award from Jacobs Chair and CEO Steve Demetriou for a community service initiative led during Jacobs’ first ever Inclusion and Diversity week in 2018. Fatima, a Jacobs design engineer, and her colleagues from the Sharjah office visited a local orphanage to spread smiles to the kids, whose ages ranged from a few weeks old to sixteen – with gifts such as toys, coloring books, painting accessories and creative games contributed by Jacobs office staff.

2019 ASCE New Faces of Civil Engineering

During Engineers Week, we asked Andrea DuMont and Monica Morales – two bright Jacobs leaders, both named 2019 New Faces of Civil Engineering by American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to share their own stories of how asking “what if” inspired them to make an enduring, positive difference in the world. Read how Andrea and Monica are inspiring the next generation of girls and engineers.

2019 Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation Award

Our very own Vice President for Economic Inclusion and Supplier Diversity Gabriele Mack received one of the highest honors bestowed by Conference of Minority Transportation Officials’ (COMTO) – the Celebrating Women Who Move the Nation Award. The award recognizes women executives in U.S. transportation that have provided inspirational leadership by opening career pathways for women and for their extraordinary achievements in transportation. In her role at Jacobs, Gabriele works with internal and external teams to promote and integrate best practices for local economic inclusion, diverse business utilization, workforce diversity, capacity building programs and community engagement on large capital infrastructure projects.

Recounting the Pollinate Energy Fellowship experience

Kate Selvaratnam, a Jacobs environmental engineer, spent two weeks in Bangalore, India, participating in the Pollinate Energy Professional Fellowship program. Based in Australia and India, Pollinate Energy is a social enterprise that brings life-changing products to those living in poverty in India’s urban slums. The Fellowship, with 12 participants from around the world, worked on strategic projects that addressed Pollinate Energy’s most pressing business challenges including diversifying the product portfolio with non-solar products (to manage the risk of potential electrification) and empowering women (to address the underrepresentation of employed females). Kate shares her experience here.

Dream Big: Engineering Our World star

In 2017, Menzer Pehlivan, Jacobs geotechnical engineer, fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a movie star – but her path to the big screen, by way of engineering, is far from typical. Take it from Menzer, if you can dream it, you can be it.

And more!

Want to excel in a competitive industry? Follow this advice from our NASA scientist Lisa Danielson; Lucy Brooksbank, a trailblazer shattering the status quo from the U.K.; Heather Wishart-Smith, a digital solutions leader; and senior program manager Kim Daily.

Looking to stand out in your field? Try these tips from Jacobs process engineer Arusha Soni; Somoud Al Masri, sales operation manager; Kelly Jeffery, civil design engineer; rail engineer Susana Gozalo; and aviation engineers Jessica Hoffman, Kristie Wilson and Nicolette Lind.

And unmask your best self with secrets to success from Jacobs’ Christel van der Nol, project engineer and wellness coach; water engineer and project manager Andrea DuMont; and Jennifer Edmunson, planetary geologist.