Who are Sweco?
As Europe’s leading multi-disciplinary engineering, environment and design consultancy, Sweco combines local presence with global reach to deliver innovative, positive and sustainable solutions.
Sweco employs 890 people in 14 offices across the UK. Our expertise covers energy, transportation infrastructure, transport planning, environment, landscape architecture, asset management, building design and water.
With a clear vision of the future, our consultants are gathering and processing geographic information to enable us to analyse large amounts of data for the design of motorways that will open in 20 years, designing sustainable buildings that are continually pushing our BREEAM expertise to the fore and providing expertise for the modernisation of research facilities in the Antarctic.
What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women’s recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are Sweco involved in?
We have senior level sponsorship for our diversity and inclusion agenda with a team of directors working together to create and drive the delivery of our Diversity and Inclusion Plan. For 2018 and the first half of 2019 this plan is focused on gender and improving the attraction and retention of women, particularly at a senior level.
In 2018 we made progress in a number of key areas:
• We are continuing to support our colleagues who are STEM Ambassadors and are delighted that we now have 92 ambassadors across the organisation and in each business unit, an increase of almost 45% from November 2017. This reflects our commitment to sharing our expertise externally and helping to foster a pipeline of future engineers.
• We have launched a new career pathway and development framework to structure, guide and support the development and progression of our people.
• We have captured and analysed data on our senior level shortlists and leavers to help us understand the current picture and determine the right course of action to address any issues. As a result, we have now revised our exit interview to ensure we capture more robust and measurable data about why people leave. We have also introduced a job applicant tracking system from which we can capture and analyse candidate data and identify areas for action to improve diversity.
• We are continuing to develop our imagery and messaging through external channels such as PR campaigns and social media and are broadening our attraction methodologies to enable us to reach and attract a more diverse range of candidates.
• We have designed and launched diversity and inclusion awareness sessions for all our people.
Our plan also includes:
• Reviewing our approach to flexible working and providing guidance and support for managers to support conversations with individuals applying for roles as well as those currently employed in Sweco.
• Introducing further guidance and support on all aspects of resourcing for line managers including raising awareness of unconscious bias and how to avoid it.
• Introducing greater support for those individuals returning to work from an extended break e.g. maternity leave.
Why did Sweco join WISE?
“Sweco is committed to raising awareness amongst young people of the opportunities a career in engineering can provide. We are also passionate about ensuring that we attract and retain a diverse and talented population. Membership of WISE enables us to access a network and resources which help us to progress initiatives that support the recruitment, retention and progression of women in STEM.”
– Max Joy OBE CEng FIMechE, President, Sweco UK