17 June 2016

Profile: Jacobs Engineering Group

Diversity profile: Jacobs

Engineering offers many opportunities. This case study is one of a series which showcases the organisations that are supporting the diverse people working in engineering. Elliot Royce of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., explains how the company supports its employees.

What is your organisation called?

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.

What does your organisation do?

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical, professional, and construction services, including all aspects of architecture, engineering and construction, operations and maintenance, as well as scientific and specialty consulting. Building strong, long-term relationships with our clients is the key to our success as a company and we serve a broad range of companies and organisations, including industrial, commercial and government clients across multiple markets and geographies.

Is your organisation an IPENZ Professional Development Partner?

Yes we are. Our relationship with IPENZ is invaluable. It helps our employees to develop and gain professional recognition for their skills

How many employees does your organisation have?

Our New Zealand business includes around 330 staff and forms part of Jacobs’ global network of around 66,000 employees. We have more than 250 offices in more than 30 countries.

What challenges does your organisation face?

While Jacobs has been acknowledged as a leader in establishing effective diversity practices, we recognise the need for continuous change and improvement. For example, we remain focused on achieving positive gender balance at all levels of our organisation and introducing a new and refreshed focus on flexibility. Fostering an inclusive environment helps us make better business decisions and, importantly, makes sure we attract and retain the best talent.

How does the organisation support its employees?

Jacobs champions a number of people-focused strategies and development processes directly intended to achieve greater gender balance in the business, particularly at senior levels. In New Zealand, we have benefitted from strong female role modelling in senior leadership, consistent review of our talent pipeline through a gender-balanced lens and strong support and direction of the agenda from key senior leaders.

We actively support flexible working arrangements; not only where people work from but also how many hours they work. It’s important to Jacobs that both men and women are equally able to access flexible working, whether that’s for parent or carer responsibilities or for other reasons. We offer flexible working, extra purchased leave, enhanced parental leave entitlements, and support and information for carers. Returning mothers can work flexibly and use private rooms if they’re breastfeeding. More and more fathers are taking parental leave and working flexibly so they can spend time with their children.

What’s your organisation’s vision of “success”?

By achieving our wider diversity and inclusion mission of “developing an inclusive culture that fully engages all employees and stakeholders to deliver superior results for our people, clients and shareholders”.

Also, by achieving our specific shorter term of goals:

  • when all men and women who want to are able to work flexibly if the business and client needs can support this; and
  • when there is a greater balance of women in leadership and professional roles.

What does the future hold for your organisation?

We’ll be further developing our local inclusion and diversity strategy and practice over the next three years, so we can offer our employees more. We’ll also work hard to keep changing and influencing the global and industry agendas.

What advice do you have for other organisations that want to better support their employees?

Make sure senior management support and are involved in your inclusion and diversity strategy and practice. Engage all your employees from across your organisation. Motivated and well-connected male sponsors will do wonders for your inclusion and diversity successes. Share stories of employees in your organisation to highlight the themes you wish to promote. People are often happy to talk about how, for example, working part time to look after their young children, has worked for them.

Get in touch

To take part in an IPENZ profile, email diversity@ipenz.org.nz