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Aurecon signs Diversity Agenda Accord for a more diverse and inclusive industry

Aurecon signs Diversity Agenda Accord for an inclusive industry

L-R: Josie Fitzgerald, NZ Government and Defence Director; Gordon Wemyss, NZ Transport Leader; Nick Simpson, Technical Director Land Infrastructure New Zealand; and Callum Smith, Geospatial and Digital Delivery Consultant.

21 February 2020 – As part of its continual diversity and inclusion aspirations, international engineering, design and advisory consultancy Aurecon has signed the Diversity Agenda’s Diversity Agenda Accord. 

Aurecon joined engineering and architecture leaders from across New Zealand in signing the Accord, as part of a cross-industry commitment to improve diversity and inclusion. The Accord holds leaders personally accountable for creating a more diverse and inclusive industry – one where everyone feels safe to contribute fully, and one that better reflects the diverse communities we serve.

Aurecon’s Managing Director, New Zealand Tracey Ryan welcomed the opportunity to sign the Accord:

“To develop creative solutions for our customers, we need diversity of thought. Diversity of thought is enabled through inclusive workplaces where everyone – regardless age, gender, sexual orientation, skill set and culture – has a sense of belonging and feels their contribution is valued. The Diversity Agenda Accord will help ensure our industry better reflects the diverse world we live in.”

The Diversity Agenda is a partnership between Engineering New Zealand, the New Zealand Institute of Architects and ACE New Zealand to drive change in New Zealand’s engineering and architecture firms.

Callum Smith spoke about his experience with LGBTQI+ inclusion in engineering, and how the Accord helps create inclusive work environments.

By signing the Accord, Aurecon commits to upholding its tenets, including:

  • Achieving gender pay equity
  • Uncovering and eliminating barriers to diversity and inclusion
  • Zero tolerance for harassment and bulling
  • Visible leadership of diversity and inclusion
  • Ensuring everyone feels safe to bring their whole selves to work
  • A diverse and future-ready workforce

The signing of the Accord builds on Aurecon’s existing initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion. Aurecon was the first New Zealand engineering consultancy to gain the Rainbow Tick certification in 2019, and all Aurecon leaders are required to complete inclusive leadership training.

Aurecon’s SharedCare Parental Leave Policy and YesFlex flexible working policy help both men and women to balance family and career, while its Ascend women’s leadership programme empowers and supports more women to step into leadership roles.

SharedCare allows for 14 weeks paid leave and options to intersperse with days of work (three days’ leave and two work days, for instance) and also 14 weeks of 150 per cent salary if an Aurecon employee takes unpaid leave (usually where another employer does not offer paid leave to the Aurecon employee’s partner).

Since this policy was introduced the proportion of paid parental leave taken by male New Zealand employees has increased from 0 per cent to 54 per cent, a significant change and one that is expected to deliver profound benefits to family dynamics. Its YesFlex policy normalises flexible working hours and makes it available to all employees, regardless of role, and helps support all workers’ dynamic and diverse family lives.

88 per cent of Aurecon’s female employees say they have the flexibility they need to manage work and life commitments; 91 per cent of male employees concur.

These initiatives saw Aurecon achieve its 2021 New Zealand workforce target of 30 per cent in 2019, with a new 2021 target set to 38 per cent female employees.

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