We value diversity of thought as this will bring better results for our clients and the society. We believe in the potential of people and we aim to unlock their full potential as individuals and as teams. For us, diversity is not the goal of itself, but rather, a way to reach our goals. Having diversity of thought and bringing different perspectives to the table is important in creating an accomplished, successful and sustainable business.  We are committed to providing a safe and enriching work environment for all. One that allows individual skills, strengths, and perspectives to be heard, used, and amplified, regardless gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, or physical ability. We strive for a collaborative, equal environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their true selves to work. We also encourage a mindset among our leaders that a diverse team makes an important contribution to the successful delivery of business ambitions.  

How do we do this? 

During 2020, we undertook various initiatives towards these aims. Many of our teams received unconscious bias awareness training. We also appointed a global equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) lead, who heads a network of EDI ambassadors to ensure consistency of implementation of EDI practices, while taking local knowledge, cultural differences and political and socio-economic considerations into account. Employee networks for disability, LGBTQ+ and diverse ethnic backgrounds have been launched to share best practice and gain understanding of every individual’s lived experience. These networks are not exclusive, they welcome all allies who help drive change to ensure inclusivity towards all employees. We are encouraging open conversations around diversity, inclusion and equality. We are aware there is still much to do but we believe a good start is awareness of thoughts, actions and language. 

In Southern Africa we sponsored the first virtual GirlCode hackathon in. GirlCode seeks to empower girls through technology, encouraging them to get involved with technology design, development and leadership. The non-stop coding event focused on building solutions to challenges connected with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In Vietnam our managing director signed a statement of support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) on behalf of HaskoningDHV Vietnam. The seven principles, developed by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in businesses and communities. 

In 2021 we will launch our first mentorship programme for female employees in the United Kingdom, striving to reduce our Gender Pay Gap and ensure representation of female colleagues is as equal as possible at every level. We will replicate this programme in other countries where there is a gender imbalance. We continue to encourage more women into engineering through initiatives including recruitment campaigns, career encouragement and greater flexibility following parental leave.  

Working towards lasting change 

We have started our journey to overcome the challenges and hurdles in our traditional industry and we are working on a lasting change. By addressing diversity in our daily HR practices, we want to create a systemic change. We view all our processes, policies and programmes through the lens of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion and we make sure our rewards policies are fair. We aim to have strong, female role models in positions where they can effect change and inspire our colleagues. Also, we have a coaching and mentorship programme for female employees. And we asses on soft skills and potential, as these can be just as important, sometimes even more important, than hard skills.   

We make sure we have an attractive Employer Value Proposition for female talent, and we run internal and external campaigns, often around special days like International Women’s Day. This way we want to share what we are doing and inspire others. We share our best practices with other companies through networks and learn from others.  We also partner in programs such as the Diverse Sustainability Initiative (DSI) and Women in Engineering and Science (WISE) to help transform and promote diversity within our industry.
I am amazed with the progress I made in my career at Royal HaskoningDHV. There were challenges posed, my efforts recognised, and growth provided at various levels. I feel lucky to have inculcated the company values in me and proud to see the importance that is shown to the culture in a diverse global team. 

Satyanan Kunta

Associate Director Advisory Group Maritime & Aviation India