Gender Equity for Graduate Hires


In 2016 AECOM hired around 130 graduates across Australia and New Zealand with just under 30% females, but then CEO Lara Poloni and the Executive team wanted to do better and set a target of 50/50 gender split.

To achieve this, a more strategic approach was required for the 2017 intake to attract a wide range of graduates and to elevate AECOM’s on-campus profile.

Gamification tools were used as part of the short-listing assessment process, with eligible graduates logging in from home to complete an aptitude assessment. 

Testing numerical reasoning, spatial awareness and mental agility, the assessment comprises of four parts which look and feel like a computer game. The game-based model feels less like a test and reduces the potential anxiety some candidates could feel about completing an assessment.

“Considering the low representation of women studying STEM subjects in Australia, I’m proud of the 2017 graduate recruitment intake of 170,” says Poloni. “We have managed to achieve a 46:54 gender split – with 100% gender pay equity.”

There is still a real challenge to achieve the 50/50 split, but the undergraduate recruitment strategy continues to evolve and the company continues to develop relationships with female student societies on campus and are also hosting in-house women in STEM events.

AECOM has held the Workplace Gender Equality Agency's Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) citation for four consecutive years.

Photo: Maddison - Graduate Civil Engineer, Auckland, New Zealand

This article was originally published on the WGEA website, read the full article here.