Atkins has joined An Inspirational Journey, an initiative aimed at increasing the number of women working at the senior corporate level in Britain’s boardrooms.
Atkins said in a statement that it has signed up a team of women that have been identified as future business leaders to An Inspirational Journey’s Pearls programme.
The Pearls programme is an initiative that already reaches out to more than 4,000 women from a multitude of sectors and regions across the UK that have been identified as future business leaders. The programme focuses on building confidence, recognising capabilities and developing contacts, while providing control and choice.
Atkins operates in what it describes as a traditionally male-dominated engineering sector but has made efforts to address this with the appointment of two female board members with plans to grow this number.
Recent figures from the Institution of Civil Engineers reveal that women account for 9.6 per cent of membership, a statistic that Atkins says it is seeking to improve upon.
Sue Cooper, UK HR director at Atkins, said: ‘Within Atkins we have a clear and definite aim of increasing the number of women working within the organisation as a whole and, more importantly, at a senior level. We see women as a valuable part of the engineering sector and we want to reverse the perception that engineering is just for men by attracting and supporting talented female employees.
‘As part of our gender balance improvement plan, the Pearls programme is an initiative that stands out as it provides a solution to the challenge of how we realise the potential of the many talented women within the company. We have identified a number of women as future business leaders and it is their talent and skills and the impact they can have on business growth that we want to encourage.’
Heather Jackson, founder of the Pearls and An Inspirational Journey, said: ‘It is great news that Atkins has come on board and that the company really sees the importance and value of women within its business.
‘By identifying and highlighting these women as future business leaders, Atkins is helping to lead the way in its sector, ensuring that they have the skills, qualities and support they need. The engineering industry is traditionally male dominated, and it is important that the industry recognises this as a business — not a gender — issue and takes action ASAP to ensure it is attracting the best talent, male and female.
‘Studies show that a more gender-balanced workforce delivers financial and performance benefits, which ultimately boosts the wider business economy. The Pearls works with companies to recognise, support and develop the talented women they have.’