In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8 and this year’s theme, #BeBoldForChange, we are featuring stories from our leaders and employees throughout the month of March, describing their own bold moments in relation to workplace equality and honoring diversity and inclusion.
I’ve always been restless for the next big challenge in life — restless for new experiences and new opportunities to learn and grow. Being bold is not just about embracing these challenges, but embracing them with the knowledge they won’t always work out. It’s okay not to succeed every time, however, I want to continually learn from every experience and carry that new perspective forward.
The biggest advancements in my career have come from working on very challenging and visible assignments. I’ve been fortunate to benefit from strong mentors and sponsors who helped open doors to these opportunities each time I was hungry for something new. They offered both professional support and concrete advocacy for advancement — a voice in my favour at the decision-making table. As I’ve progressed in my career, I’ve felt it both a responsibility and a privilege to provide that same support to the talented, hard-working and tenacious women around me.
To #BeBoldForChange, in addition to seeking out and conquering the big challenges, we need to remember the importance of the smaller, everyday actions. In my experience, informal work structures provide as much opportunity for change as formal. Glass ceilings do exist, but at times they only reflect the limits we place on ourselves. I never underestimate how powerful it is to actively support, champion and encourage others. We all can and should be champions for the progression of women within our circles of influence.
We must work together to be bold for change. Achieving equality isn’t just a women’s issue — our male colleagues are our allies in this effort, and equality will mean embracing more flexible, family-friendly policies for the workforce as a whole.
Finally, the question of equality takes many different forms, including gender, culture, ethnicity, age, experience and perspective. We need to be willing to challenge the status quo and eliminate bias, unconscious or otherwise. I’ve always worked as part of diverse, multi-cultural teams, and the experience has brought such richness to my career — the opportunity to view the world as others do and embrace the creativity that accompanies seeing things from multiple angles. I am proud to be part of a global company that reflects the cultures and communities we serve.
Suzanne Carroll is director of strategy, EMIA and APAC, with the Construction Services (CS) global strategy team based in London, where she acts as the key point of interface between CS global and regional EMIA and APAC businesses. Suzanne has been with AECOM for seven years. Prior to joining AECOM in 2010, Suzanne worked for PwC in both Dublin and Dubai. She is a chartered accountant with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in accounting