Diversity & Inclusion

AECOM celebrates UN’s #InvestInWomen theme on International Women’s Day

AECOM celebrates the achievements of three women, working across three different areas of its business

Achieving gender equality and women’s wellbeing in all aspects of life is more crucial than ever if we want to create prosperous economies and a sustainable planet. As a result, International Women’s Day is being celebrated on 8 March under the United Nations’ theme ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress’. Infrastructure consulting firm AECOM is therefore celebrating the achievements of three incredible women, working across three different areas:

Rana Al-Halalsheh, Resident Engineer, AECOM

Rana sheds light on her role as a Resident Engineer, stressing the responsibilities that come with her position. “My role involves monitoring on-site construction work and ensuring it complies with the design and that it is progressing according to the baseline and maintains quality standards,” she explains.

As the first female to be promoted to a Resident Engineer in the civil infrastructure business line in the Middle East, Rana radiates pride. “I am so proud and happy. It is not just about me; it is about breaking barriers and inspiring other females. I feel a significant responsibility to show that we can do it,” she comments.

Reflecting on her professional growth, Rana expresses gratitude for the extensive support she has received at AECOM. “I had so many training sessions from the beginning, covering HSE, quality and even unconscious bias. Continuous training is a huge opportunity for development,” she affirms.

Discussing the challenges faced by women in the construction industry, Rana acknowledges the initial difficulties she encountered. “In the construction industry, it is not that common to see women. People often act like they are not listening when a woman speaks,” she notes. However, Rana highlights the importance of perseverance. “You must work hard, be strict and prove yourself. After the first month, people recognise your dedication and perceptions change,” she adds.

Hybrid work arrangements and role models are critical factors for success. “Flexible working hours are crucial to balance work and personal responsibilities. Additionally, having role models like the late renowned architect Zaha Hadid inspires women to pursue STEM careers,” she suggests.

Rana shares a powerful message for young girls contemplating STEM careers: “Do not listen to others who say no to the role of women. You can work hard, achieve something significant and experience the sense of accomplishment when you finish a project. Engineering is amazing; it is a challenge, but worth it.”

Reflecting on the International Women’s Day theme, Rana views it as a fundamental right. “Investing in women is not a request for something extra; it is a recognition of our rights. Women contribute equally to society and their investment is essential for societal progress,” she asserts.

Looking ahead, Rana expresses her ambition to progress within AECOM. “I wish to become a Principal Resident Engineer and take charge of a whole project from A to Z. I believe in AECOM’s commitment to providing such opportunities,” she shares.

Limi Engoor, Assistant Project Manager, AECOM

Limi’s transformative journey at AECOM started in 2022. She reflects on her professional evolution, transitioning from architecture and design to management, eventually finding her place. Limi shares her ascent to the role of Assistant Project Manager, highlighting her involvement in the captivating Diriyah Square project in Saudi Arabia, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

She expresses her enthusiasm for her on-site experience, an integral part of her role at AECOM. Involving hands-on project management, collaboration with diverse teams and real-time problem-solving, working on-site has provided her with a holistic understanding of projects, enhanced leadership skills and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

AECOM’s commitment to nurturing talent, irrespective of age, showcases the company’s dedication to fostering excellence among its team members. In her role as a young professional in the industry, Limi orchestrates various project facets, overseeing timelines, budgeting and fostering stakeholder engagement, with the overarching goal to ensure seamless project delivery. She acknowledges AECOM’s instrumental role in her professional growth and development, stressing the unwavering support evident through initiatives like the AECOM University. In particular, the Accelerate Program, a leadership initiative that has expanded her skillset and global professional network.

Limi shares the challenges she has faced as a woman in a predominantly male industry, including gender bias and stereotypes. To overcome these obstacles, she has focused on her capabilities and proved her expertise through hard work and dedication. Limi expresses her gratitude that without a strong support system of colleagues and mentors within AECOM, navigating through these challenges would have been difficult.

To encourage more women in STEM fields, Limi highlights the importance of mentorship programs, scholarship outreach efforts targeting young girls and fostering a culture of inclusivity while eliminating gender biases.

Her message to young girls considering STEM careers is clear: “Believe in yourselves, pursue your passion and let curiosity and skill drive you.” She encourages women to be resilient, challenge stereotypes and make a meaningful impact.

Reflecting on the International Women’s Day theme, Limi sees it as a reminder to invest in women’s potential to drive positive change and innovation. By providing resources, support and opportunities, progress can be accelerated not only within companies but on a broader societal level.

Limi aspires to continue advancing her career at AECOM while making meaningful contributions to the industry. Passionate about mentorship and diversity advocacy, she envisions taking on leadership roles to support and empower more women in STEM.

Himanshi Kaushik, Manager – Talent Management, AECOM

Himanshi joined AECOM as an HR business partner in a generalist role, initially based in India. However, fate had other plans for her as her manager entrusted her with assignments related to talent management, eventually confirming her role as a Talent Management Specialist.

She attributes her success to AECOM’s commitment to a unified global culture, where collaboration across geographies is not only encouraged but also essential for career visibility and growth. “AECOM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is evident from the top down, with leadership setting targets for the hiring and representation of women in leadership roles,” says Himanshi.

Himanshi stresses the importance of seizing opportunities. She acknowledges the empowerment provided by her managers, the acceptance of her unique working style and the numerous certifications she has obtained, including becoming a certified DiSC facilitator and a certified Fierce facilitator.

She highlights the global EDI steering committee, which meets monthly to discuss initiatives and goals. Flexible working arrangements, inclusive training programmes and mentoring initiatives for high-potential females further drive AECOM’s dedication to creating an inclusive workplace.

She shares a powerful and positive experience of being selected for an international transfer while pregnant. “The trust and empowerment shown by my current manager encouraged me to take on the challenge despite being pregnant. The flexibility provided by AECOM during this transition demonstrated a commitment to supporting employees in various life stages,” says Himanshi.

Himanshi advocates for gender-inclusive workplaces by eliminating gender restrictions in job advertisements and avoiding discriminatory questions during interviews. “Flexible working arrangements and fair representation of women in leadership roles showcase a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion,” she says.

For Himanshi, the International Women’s Day theme holds personal significance. “I see it as a call for increased representation of women in leadership roles across industries, ensuring equitable decision-making. Company commitment to diversity, especially at the leadership level, will attract more women to join and contribute meaningfully.”

As AECOM celebrates the achievements of these remarkable women, their respective journeys exemplify the transformative impact of investing in women. AECOM’s progressive culture, commitment to diversity and empowerment of women contribute to a workplace where talent thrives, regardless of gender. On International Women’s Day 2024, AECOM stands as a beacon for the hashtag #InvestInWomen, illustrating the power of inclusivity and equality in driving progress.


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