Aurecon – Asset Management and Performance in Action Summary

Aurecon’s Asset Management & Performance (AM&P) team is committed to promoting diversity in all its forms throughout every facet of our work. By embracing an inclusive culture which supports a diverse workforce, we have high levels of staff engagement, produce meaningful work for our clients and the community and maintain a leading reputation for innovation in asset management.

Demonstration of Organisational Leadership

Diversity and inclusion are promoted within our team and at every level of our organisation. Aurecon’s leadership team – from the CEO, to the executive team and senior managers – recognises diversity and inclusion as a business priority and are actively and authentically committed to embedding it as ‘business as usual’.

Through a mix of organisational leadership, long-term programs and new initiatives, strategies, processes and policies our AM&P team aspires to be – and works hard to be – a team that recruits, retains and develops a truly diverse workforce reflective of the communities we serve and the kind of place where people are proud to work.

Attracting, retaining and building an inclusive workplace and team

A focus on diversity and inclusion across our AM&P team allows us to have a healthy, robust business by attracting the best talent, harnessing the different perspectives of our people, and creating the best solutions for our equally diverse client base.

Our Aurecon AM&P team has had rapid growth from three (two male and one female) in 2018 to (49 male and 24 female) 73 in 2021. This growth can, in part, be attributed to our approach to diversity in all its forms which attracts a variety of people from a range of backgrounds. 

To ensure we continue to attract, grow and retain talent, our team utilises a mix of initiatives, programs, strategies, processes and policies (which Aurecon has in place), covering the following diversity aspects: age; culture/ethnicity/religion; ability and mental health; sexual orientation; gender; family circumstance, Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. We embed these across recruitment and appraisal practices, professional development and flexible working practice. Across these areas specifically, our team works within a Leadership Performance Management Framework which includes diversity and inclusion measures such as:

  1. Recruitment and appraisal practices: Our team has established measurable, achievable and time-framed targets relating to gender diversity mix and Indigenous employees across all new hires in line with Aurecon’s Australian and New Zealand D&I Execution Plan. As part of this plan, leaders must value capability over experience when assessing candidates – experience does not equal performance. Leaders must value people skills over technical capability when promoting to leadership roles. We are also committed to action towards removing gender pay gaps and ongoing pay parity.
  2. Professional development: Our team embraces learning and development strategies, opportunities and processes, aimed at building capability throughout the organisation, as well as having career development and leadership programs in place for women and men. 80% of all line managers are to have completed Inclusive Leadership training and we ensure our team taps into learning opportunities provided by Aurecon through a wide variety of programs and initiatives.
  3. Flexibility: Flexible working is an intrinsic part of our culture and 100% of the AM&P team utilise flexible working (YesFlex). It has brought a diverse talent pool, empowers employees and drives equality for individuals in combining their work and other responsibilities.

Demonstration of Innovation

For our asset management specialists to maintain a reputation for innovation and for producing quality work, we recognise the importance of challenging established norms and embracing the skills, abilities and knowledge that only a diverse and inclusive workforce can deliver.

To achieve this, in addition to embedding diversity across the areas detailed above, we also utilise a range of innovative initiatives and strategies focused on diversity and inclusion, which foster talent from all walks of life and aim to achieve positive change for our people and the industry. These include: 

  1. Aurecon’s global strategy: Diversity and inclusion is identified as a critical focus area to deliver Aurecon’s strategy. To ensure we embrace diversity, Aurecon has a set of Attributes defining our people’s individual way of being – they’re a collection of qualities that make us who we are. Our eight Attributes describe the diverse kinds of people we attract for our clients. Our teams are comprised of individuals who uniquely embrace one Attribute, but together reflect the diverse spectrum of all eight.
  2. Governance: Aurecon has Australia and New Zealand Diversity and Inclusion Council, with representatives across levels, regions, business units, gender, age, cultural diversity, First Peoples and disability. Each region has a Diversity and Inclusion Committee, also with diverse representation, to maximise our collective impact executing our D&I Plan.
  3. Clear and consistent narrative: Aurecon clearly articulates the contribution diversity and inclusion brings to innovation, creative problem solving, risk mitigation, high performance and wellbeing. This cultural transformation is delivered through leadership, policies and behaviours.
  4. Beyond Management Leading Inclusively: Line manager training program supporting line managers to get the best from their teams by embracing the different experiences that each team member brings. 
  5. Ascend program: A leadership advancement program for high potential women, aimed at promoting strength-based leadership, sponsorship and progression with three high potential women leaders within the AM&P team completing the program to date.
  6. Domestic and Family Violence guidelines: Aurecon has a leading response to support victims/ survivors including leave, financial support, administrative support as well as internal and external support pathways. We regularly communicate the guidelines to reduce stigma and encourage uptake of the provisions and support available.
  7. Parental leave: The leave applies to anyone who has responsibility for the care of a child and includes leading initiatives such as an employee is entitled to 150% of their salary for 14 weeks if they return to Aurecon following primary carer leave and their partner is taking over as primary carer.
  8. Reconciliation Action Plan: Informs our clients, partners and people of how we are raising awareness and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, providing meaningful contribution to communities, and supporting employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  9. Aurecon Pride Network and Action Plan: Focused on LGBTI+ inclusion and celebrated with initiatives such as training and Wear it Purple Day. Aurecon ensures all its policies and benefits explicitly include LGBTI+ employees and their families, that our allies are plentiful and visible.
  10. Aurecon’s dedicated Australia and New Zealand Diversity and Inclusion Manager: To support diversity and inclusion, our team utilise this dedicated resource to administer and advise on our diversity and inclusion initiatives and relevant workplace practices.

As a testament to how we have demonstrated innovation in achieving diversity we are proud to be part of an organisation which has received many honours recognising our innovative and longstanding commitment and leadership around diversity and inclusion. This includes being named as one of only 35 organisations deemed an Inclusive Employer for 2019-2020

Diversity Benefits

Our Team:

“At Aurecon, we have long championed the importance of inclusive teams. It’s not just about building diverse teams full of people who think differently which optimises innovative solutions; you also need to create a culture where people can be themselves and have their unique contribution heard and valued,”

Louise Adams, Chief Executive, Aurecon ANZ, CEO of the Year 2020 and Member of CCC Australia

By embracing diversity within our team and operations, we can adapt and change in the disruptive times in which we live and work – no more so has this been demonstrated than through 2020. Increasing diversity and inclusivity within our AM&P team has had direct impacts on our business performance and has delivered an unbeatable competitive edge through resilience:

  • Diversity in action demonstrating measurable growth from three people in 2018 to 73 in 2021.
  • Demonstrated strategy in action with women representing over 1/3 of our team at all levels of the business from under-graduates through to principal owners. Utilising a range of innovative initiatives and strategies focused on diversity and inclusion our team continues to push the envelope on diversity. Since the start of 2020 to January 2021 we moved from 24% to 33% female, saw an undergraduate intake of 3:1 female to male and have current offers to recruit in the market at 3:1 female to male. Our ethnic diversity (although not directly measured) has also changed.
  • Demonstrated resilience in action with 100% utilise flexible working arrangements
  • Demonstrated inclusion in action with the team received a Diversity Score of above 8 showing high levels of feeling valued and belonging. Research shows a significant portion of workers in inclusive teams are more satisfied and engaged with their job compared to workers non-inclusive teams and are less likely to leave.

Our Projects:

“The diversity in our team allows us to provide better solutions and outcomes – human-centric ones. To deliver projects that meet the needs of individual clients and communities, you really need to go deep on what is important to all the different stakeholders involved. Diversity of thought, perspective and experience drive us to consider the full range of human experience within each project.”

—Delene Kock, AM&P Principal, Ascend Graduate

A simple demonstration of how we have applied diversity and delivered a positive impact, culminating in a cultural change in the way inclusion is understood early in the design lifecycle of an asset, is the University of Melbourne’ Fishermen’s Bend Campus Concept Safe Design workshop .

The AM&P team utilised an innovative Inclusive Design approach to brainstorm the types of people that would be associated with the University’s new assets. By brainstorming around inclusiveness e.g. lecturer with a migraine, student travel during heatwave or a deaf cleaner, meant that critical assets were identified covering a wide range of risks relating to health, safety, and sustainability.

Our human-centric style in ensuring hazards are identified for a diverse group of asset users, maintainers and operators unlocks additional efficiencies and potential that is often hidden when designing assets only for the ‘majority’.

Our Communities:

“This team is the most diverse I’ve ever worked in. This diversity gives our clients a light on the hill, it shows them what is possible. It promotes curious questions, which in turn prevents normal group think. Diversity of perspective helps us solve wicked problems, encourages us to challenge ourselves and each other and give back to the communities in which we live and work…it’s something our entire AM&P team is proud of.”

—AM&P Associate Lara Kayess: single mum with twin boys, embracer of #YesFlex.

Our AM&P team mirrors this commitment as we strive to achieve positive benefits for the broader community and asset management profession. We continually review our team strategies and evolve our practices to redefine what diversity and inclusion means to our people and how we embed it as ‘business as usual’ across our team and our work.

Our empathetic and authentic transfer of diversity behaviours from within our team to our work also extends into the communities in which we work.

  1. We actively support several initiatives, including the Indigenous Engineering Summer Schools (Engineering Aid Australia) to promote engineering and the opportunities available to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  2. Champions of Change Coalition: Senior male leaders in Aurecon’s AM&P team actively support this initiative, championing for inclusion of females within STEM and other consulting organisations to advance equality in a traditionally male dominated industry. Aurecon publicly shares its progress within the CCC Consult Australia Progress Reports available on the CCC Resources page. The team’s Managing Principal, John Searls, is such a champion. John also serves as a non-Executive Director for Dream Big Australia, a not-for-profit dedicated to advancing young women in high school encouraging them to study STEM subjects.

General Comments

Diversity is not just about building teams of people who think differently to optimise innovative solutions. It’s also about creating a culture where the unique contribution of each individual can be heard and valued and provide benefit into the projects we deliver. This is what lies at the heart of our Asset Management & Performance team’s work, and the team’s ultimate impact on the broader community and asset management profession.

Image 1: Aurecon’s Diversity Attributes

Image 2:  Aurecon Brisbane AM&P Team being our authentic selves

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