WiC: SNC-Lavalin keen on employee learning development

Firm focused on learning development for women and men within organisation

Employee learning development is important to SNC-Lavalin according to Grant Porter, Atkins’ CEO of Engineering, Design and Project Management in the Middle East and Africa. Porter chairs SNC-Lavalin’s Middle East Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Business Network.

In March, the Middle East D&I Network signed the United Nation’s Women’s Empowerment Principles (UN WEPs). The WEPs are said to align with the firm’s efforts to create an inclusive culture that promotes gender equality and supports the professional development, skills and knowledge of staff.

“We continue to focus on learning development for women and men within our organisation. We’ve got a mentorship programme that we’re pushing for employees to be mentored by both women and men, with a particular focus on those returning to work after a long break. The idea is that mentors will help them embed back into the business,” says Porter.

He continues, “We understand that everyone has different support and development needs, and we have a specific women’s development programme as part of our learning and development calendar. We have long term targets but, ultimately, we want to increase the number of women in technical and senior positions across the industry and beyond. Anything we can do to make a difference is important,” states Porter.

Porter also told Middle East Consultant that he’s committed to tackling unconscious bias within the firm, and points out that it’s a widespread issue in the construction industry and beyond.

He explains, “People do have unconscious bias, so we have a training programme which senior managers and recruiting managers have been through to help them understand that they have it, what it is, and how they should do something about it. The goal is to ensure that recruitment/promotion decisions are absolutely balanced. Our objective is to make all staff aware of unconscious bias and give them training and explain the policies that we have in place.”

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