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News May 16, 2024

Jacobs Named Employer of the Year at WTS Annual Conference

Recognized for unwavering commitment to diversity, inclusion and empowerment of women

WTS award 2023

Big news from our time in the Big Easy for the WTS Annual Conference: we’ve been named WTS’ Employer of the Year.

The WTS Annual Conference is a cornerstone event in the transportation industry, bringing together professionals from various sectors to discuss, learn and network. The Employer of the Year award, presented during this conference, highlights organizations that have made remarkable strides in promoting diversity and fostering a supportive workplace culture. 

“Jacobs is not just a company; it’s a community – a place where innovation thrives, and where every voice matters,” said Senior Vice President Chrissy Thom, who accepted the award on behalf of Jacobs. “Our journey toward gender equality has been deliberate and purposeful. From the boardroom to the construction site, we elevate women at every level. Our leadership programs are designed to empower women throughout their careers and life stage.”

Improving our gender balance

Given the typically lower female representation in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) careers, we’re particularly focused on empowering our female talent to help advance our innovation and growth.

We’re working to significantly improve our global gender balance by fiscal year 2025, with our aspiration to achieve 40% female talent, 40% male talent and 20% being a flexible measure — including any gender and those who choose not to identify or disclose. We extended this aspirational goal in our new, industry-leading Sustainability-Linked Bond Framework, where the interest rates payable on the bonds are tied to Jacobs’ efforts to increase gender diversity in leadership positions by 2028.

A few highlights we’re proud of:

  • For the third consecutive year, Jacobs was named one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Gender Equality 2023, the U.K.’s most highly profiled and well-established listing of employers striving for gender equality in the workplace.
  • We partner with Catalyst, an advocacy organization for women in the workplace. Our CEO, Bob Pragada, is one of 70 CEOs who has joined Catalyst’s CEO Champions for Change Coalition formally committed to advancing more women into leadership positions.
  • We’ve implemented a “Bridge the Gap” returners program, which supports parents returning to work after parental leave through structured workshops, coaching and flexible working policy. 
  • We piloted the Black LeadHERship and WISE (Women Empowering and Supporting Each other) programs aimed at accelerating the progress of women of color into executive leadership.

More from the WTS Annual Conference

The WTS Annual Conference, held from May 8-10, 2024, celebrated “Connecting Cultures and Communities in the Crescent City.” 

The theme struck Chrissy as particularly relevant, given her background. “While working on water projects in Louisiana, I was motivated by seeing communities profoundly connected to the vibrant history and culture of this region,” she said during her remarks. “It’s a reminder that our work transcends infrastructure and engineering – it improves lives, preserves heritage and fosters resiliency.”

In addition to accepting the Employer of the Year award, Jacobs also provided a scholarship to Juliana Tumlumbe Chengula, a student at South Carolina State University who exemplifies Jacobs’ strategic accelerators and desire to drive and spark innovation in transportation, STEAM and beyond. Jacobs Vice President and WTS Board of Director Jennifer Duval moderated the “Planning Your Career Journey - Practical Solutions to Advance and Thrive” panel. The panel of executive leaders emphasized the importance of being visible, vulnerable and continuously learning new skills and embracing people-centric leadership as key to advancing your career. 

About Jacobs and WTS

Since 1977, WTS, formerly called Women’s Transportation Seminar, has focused on promoting the advancement of women in the transportation industry. As one of the largest professional associations, WTS is dedicated to shaping the future of transportation for the public good through the global advancement of women and ensuring a diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce. Jacobs is a trailblazer corporate partner of WTS and more than 100 of our teammates across the U.S. currently belong to WTS and take part in its programs and events. Many of these teammates serve in leadership roles on local chapters, as committee chairs or on the executive board.  

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