AECOM’s Professional Development Programme (PDP) has welcomed its most diverse intake in the UAE since the scheme’s inception seven years ago.
As part of a wider diversity and inclusion plan, global infrastructure firm AECOM attracted a graduate intake comprising nine different nationalities and equal gender split to the UAE business.
In Bahrain, which has been offering the PDP since 2016, the gender split for 2020 is 40% female and 60% male.
To ensure the best candidate for each role while retaining a focus on diversity, AECOM’s search extended to universities across the UAE, as well as Lebanon, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, India, Russia, Italy and the UK.
More focus was given to promoting the company’s culture and corporate responsibility activities, AECOM said.
Beth Cowper, talent acquisition lead, Middle East & Africa, AECOM, said: “For 2018 and 2019, females comprised 45% and 48% respectively of the graduate intake, so we knew an equal split was in reach.
“Increased focus by our recruiters allowed our hiring managers to interview a portfolio of different candidates against each role. This ensured we are not hiring diverse candidates for the sake of it, but that they are the optimum fit for the role itself.”
Hamed Zaghw, CEO, Middle East & Africa, AECOM, said: “The ability to draw on the skills of a diverse range of people from a variety of different backgrounds is vital to our success as a business and the projects we deliver. Greater diversity leads to better outcomes, encouraging innovation and creativity.”
The PDP is designed to bridge the gap between formal education and the workplace.
The two-year programme equips graduates with the skills to kick-start their careers. Comprising a range of core competencies, mentoring and training, graduates take part in site visits, as well as social and networking events contributing to their professional growth and development.
AECOM designs, builds, finances and operates critical infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organisations. The Fortune 500 firm posted revenues of approximately $20.2billion during fiscal year 2019.