Igniting Our Solutions with Equality and Diversity
It’s one thing to say a company leads with inclusion and diversity in their workplace. It’s even better when we embrace equality as a key to our strength of our expertise across all of our services. Diversity ignites creativity every day in our work.
March 8th marks International Women’s Day which has been celebrated for more than a century. Since 1996, the world celebrates by coming together around a new theme. This year it’s #EachForEqual.
For us equality isn’t just recognized on just one day but every day as part of our value: We Live Inclusion. We collaborate seamlessly together regardless of gender, heritage, language and perhaps most importantly, career level. Because we are a company like no other. We focus 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.
Steve Demetriou, Jacobs Chair and CEO shared in a recent interview with New York Stock Exchange Vice Chairman, Betty Liu how when he initially walked into our boardroom we had 100% men leaders. He knew he had to make a change because the leaders were not gender and geographically diverse. Now, we have a diverse global executive leadership team with more than 60% women. And they’re a team with 75% diversity – representing great progress.
A Cultural Transformation for Change
Building on this progress, each member of our senior leadership team also signed our Inclusion & Diversity Accountability and Commitment Statement, committing to aim higher, challenge what’s accepted and hold themselves accountable for creating a company where every employee is empowered to thrive, knowing their individual value is recognized.
Our Inclusion and Diversity Council serves as an advisory board to lead, advocate, coordinate, inform and monitor the global strategic inclusion and diversity management process, so that inclusion and diversity is a strategic differentiator in our work with our clients and in creating an employer of choice.
In 2019, we awarded our first ever Inclusive Leader of the Year Award as part of our BeyondExcellence awards program and recently announced our membership in The Valuable 500, an organization that seeks to ensure disability inclusion is on business leadership agendas across the globe. We’ve joined forces with more than 200 companies that have pledged to take a definitive stand on diversity encompassing disability in the workplace.
For the fifth year running, Australia Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, recognizing our commitment to achieving gender equality and flexibility in its Australian workplaces and reflecting Jacobs’ ongoing commitment to create better gender balance and a culture of inclusion and flexibility both within the business and wider industry.
We continue to raise the bar across the company around inclusion, diversity and equality as the way we lead and open space for innovation. The importance of #EachforEqual is not lost on Jacobs Vice President of Global Solutions & Technology Chrissy Thom, as she leads our diverse team of experts that engage with people all over the world.
Advancing Diversity through Equality
What if we showed you how we place ourselves in a journey towards an inclusive and diverse culture?
With a team of thousands of Technologists, our Solutions & Technology (S&T) leadership works in partnership alongside subject matter experts and in collaboration with our sales and delivery teams to energize results, strengthen client relationships and deliver outstanding services while advancing our growth in all markets and regions. Chrissy likes reminding our people that “S&T is for everyone” because our leadership is here to connect and collaborate with everyone. We only succeed as experts when we have real diversity of thought and perspective - just like our executive leadership team.
It can be intimidating to talk to industry experts that have worked on some of the world’s most iconic and innovative projects. But as equals at Jacobs, we encourage people of all career levels to network to discover career opportunities, especially through our S&T team when working on trending challenges.
“The S&T team thrives on diverse perspectives and those who put themselves out there – our revolutionizing culture is based around being open to what’s possible. While we are more alike than we are different, sometimes embracing what’s different takes courage,” Chrissy Thom shares. “I know I’ve experienced what it’s like to hide behind stereotypes or falsehoods just because it’s too much of a risk to be different.”
Chrissy is particularly focused on living our inclusion values as a key success indicator for the S&T leadership team. “At key points in my career, I doubted my place because I told myself I didn’t fit the leadership model particularly as a woman and mother of three,” she admits. “I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I began to challenge myself to stop hiding my unique situation but embrace it. The openness is freeing, and I feel free to be myself at Jacobs.”
Challenging herself sure paid off.
Chrissy was recently promoted to lead the global S&T team when Jacobs Senior Vice President Tom Price shifted to oversee Global Growth, Strategy & Solutions. Tom is a longtime advocate for equality and one of Jacobs’ Male Champions of Change. He recently accepted the Honorable Secretary Ray LaHood award at WTS Sacramento’s Annual Awards and Scholarship event. The award recognizes a male leader in transportation who has made an outstanding contribution toward advancing women and minorities in the transportation industry.
Tom and Chrissy have similar leadership qualities — both believe strongly in the importance of a diverse technology team that leads with innovation. Their partnership and Chrissy’s expanded role are a true example of how we’re redefining inclusion and diversity at Jacobs and how differences make us better together.
This especially resonates with IWD 2020, as the S&T leadership team engages with teams and cultures all around the world, where challenges of equality can vary. Chrissy adds, “I am so proud of our S&T team and they just keep raising the bar for how we deliver for Jacobs. We celebrate and lead the way in all of our communities to live inclusion. Having a conversation with our people about their experience and how S&T leaders can support is what we do.”
Recently, Susan Moisio, Jacobs Vice President and Global Solutions Director for Conveyance and Storage, initiated an inclusion and diversity initiative on behalf of the global S&T team. Susan is well-known in the industry as a champion for inclusive leadership and she brings this focus to ensure we identify our unconscious biases and challenge ourselves to keep the focus on equality.
Joining Chrissy as her executive advisor is Andrea DuMont, one of the American Society of Civil Engineers' 2019 New Faces of Civil Engineering. Andrea, a project manager and water engineer by trade, challenges the industry in a different way by talking about diversity in the online social media space and has just been involved in a think tank for women in the architecture, engineering and construction industry.
“One of my favorite parts about my role with S&T is my platform to push back or challenge things that I see differently,” reflects Andrea. “I know that even if others don’t agree, that they are always willing to hear different opinions and perspectives.”
And that’s the power of the S&T model. Its innovative culture and provides the platform for our innovators, our dreamers, thinkers and doers to showcase our thought leadership, focus on clients and grow our talent pool— and its inclusive environment and exciting career opportunities make the difference in creating a company like no other.
Jacobs Women’s Network is an Enabler to Changing Mindsets
Through the efforts of our company and in particular, Jacobs Women’s Network (JWN), we proudly accepted a 2019 IWD Best Practices award, honoring our efforts in celebration of last year’s event. JWN’s creative, innovative involvement incited overwhelming engagement from our members. We successfully engaged staff from all hierarchies across the organization and provided an avenue for open discussion on pressing topics. We had external speakers in our offices to share their experiences and ideas.
Throughout the world, we celebrated with delicious lunches while we engaged through education, staff engagement activities outside of the office and competitions with prizes to generate curiosity and interest amongst staff. All to promote our inclusive culture!
And, the best part is how our leadership team actively engaged, creating a lasting impact and demonstrating how we take gender balance and equal opportunities seriously.
This year, we’re gearing up for another exciting day on our social media channels.
JWN is one of eight employee networks that promote an inclusive culture where women and men can thrive and feel valued. Their vision fosters an inclusive environment where gender diversity and equality drive a unique local and virtual community.
With over 5,000+ members and more than 125 local chapters across 26 countries, the impact of the JWN is felt throughout Jacobs and is embraced by Chair and CEO and JWN Executive Sponsor Steve Demetriou as a Male Champion of Change. The Champions of Change mission is to accelerate a cultural shift by empowering women and promoting gender equality.
As the catalyst, JWN is bringing about a cultural shift by promoting gender equality. To promote inclusive ideas and activities across our global operations, JWN leadership has developed meeting ideas, book and article recommendations, plus podcasts and videos to inspire people by sharing best practices and innovative programs such as a pilot program for a gender inclusive interview panel toat help address unconscious bias at interview stage and impact on the pipeline of women in the workplace and the leadership.
50 JWN members enrolled to take part in the pilot program, which launched in February 2019 in our Middle East region. Our Talent Acquisition partners provided these promising JWN members with training on how to conduct effective interviews, provided materials and tools to help them explain what Inclusion & Diversity means at Jacobs and enabled them to perform fair assessments. Throughout FY19, the number of women at Jacobs in the Middle East increased by over 27% and now, JWN is exploring global rollout of inclusive interview teams in 2020 amongst seven other global inclusion and diversity initiatives.
At Jacobs, people are encouraged to think differently to understand everyone’s unique perspective as a strategic growth enabler. Through life experiences, diversity is critical to serving our clients by challenging today to reinvent tomorrow.
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