Member News

Jacobs named one of The Times top 50 employers for women

29 April 2021

The Times Top 50 Employers for Women is the UK’s most highly profiled and well-established listing of employers striving for gender equality in the workplace. Run by the charity Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network – for more than a decade, the incredibly competitive process identifies companies which make gender equality part of their business strategy and are trying to bring it to life at all levels of the organisation.

Applicants are assessed on a range of areas, including their approach to recruitment, family friendly policies and how they have championed gender equality in the context of the pandemic.

Sarah Winship, Jacobs Inclusion & Diversity Lead – Europe, Middle East & Africa, said:

“We are delighted to have been named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women. After such a challenging year, inclusion and diversity will be critical to organisations as they recover from the disruption caused by the pandemic. Creating an environment that supports and nurtures our diverse female talent is a business imperative for Jacobs and, while we still have work to do, I am delighted that our efforts have been recognised.”

Gender Equality Director at Business in the Community Charlotte Woodworth said:

“COVID-19 has shone a light on how far we have to go on gender equality: by having to pick up things like the bulk of extra caring responsibilities, women have been disproportionately affected by lockdown.

“We congratulate the many employers who have maintained their efforts towards gender equality at this time, often introducing innovative policies to support their workforce during this period. This year’s application process for The Times Top 50 Employers for Women was the most competitive one we have seen in five years. Employers like Jacobs haven’t forgotten women at work and they are committed to making gender inequality a thing of the past.”

Shaping our Future
Central to Jacobs transformation over the last few year was the adoption of “We live inclusion” as a foundational core value – and with it the creation of TogetherBeyondSM, our approach to living inclusion every day and creating a company where people feel safe, included, valued and can truly “bring their whole selves to work.”

Jeff Dingle, Jacobs Vice President Inclusion & Diversity, said:

“What’s compelling about our TogetherBeyond culture is that it’s built on the recognition that for an inclusion culture to be truly successful, the mantra “leave no one behind” needs to be fundamental. It’s also vital to have an understanding and explicit discussion of intersectionality in our employee communications.”

Driving this culture, adds Jeff, begins with leadership accountability:

“Which is why all our senior leaders have annual performance priorities, such as mentoring, focused on how they are advancing our TogetherBeyond culture.”

While leadership initiatives have been effective, Jacobs’ biggest positive changes have resulted from global inclusion initiatives being taken on, tailored and amplified by our eight grassroots Jacobs Employee Networks (JENs). While each JEN champions a specific group within the company (LGBTI+, Latinx, black, disabled, female, veteran, professional development and global multiculturalism), the culture of partnership and cross-collaboration between the networks has pushed intersectionality to the forefront, enabling JEN members to work closely together on programming and initiatives that benefit multiple groups at once.

Support and Flexibility
The global pandemic has clearly had a profound effect on all of us – but as 2020 progressed it became clear that women were being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Although there’s no quick panacea for these problems, Jacobs has taken several actions to address and minimize them.

One way has been to promote flexible working: our “Work from Here” initiative embraces colleagues wishing to have alternative work schedules and locations in response to the pandemic.  Another was our “Bridge the Gap” returners program, which actively supports parents returning to work after parental leave through structured workshops, manager toolkits, coaching and awareness campaigns. Since its inception, over 200 UK-based employees have accessed the program.

Sarah adds,

“Becoming a new parent during the pandemic brought additional challenges, including feelings of isolation. So, we expanded the program to offer ‘parent-to-parent buddying’ providing informal support to employees preparing for, taking, or returning from parental leave.”

We also partnered with our Women’s Network to create an intranet microsite and Microsoft Teams forum for our parents, creating a global support network that allowed them to share resources, network and compare best practices.

Additionally, we have taken several steps to safeguard our employees’ physical and mental wellbeing including increasing the support available through our Employee Assistance Program. And, we recently developed a free, globally accessible mental health check-in tool called One Million Lives  to help users assess their current mental health and provide them with suggestions and resources for personal growth and resilience.

We are closely monitoring and taking actions to continue to improve our Pay Gap and Pay Equity for women and ethnicities within Jacobs. Our Gender Pay Gap for England, Wales and Scotland has reduced for three consecutive years. We recognize this is a journey and we still have a long way to go, but we can see that our actions are starting to have an impact. We have also seen a steady increase in female hires, a reduction in voluntary attrition and an increase in diverse representation on our Board (55%) and Executive leadership  (60%). Our recent company-wide Culture Survey also showed overwhelmingly that TogetherBeyond is widely accepted and viewed as a key differentiator for why people want to work and stay with Jacobs.

Looking ahead, our aspirational goal is to create a 40-40-20 gender-balanced workforce around the globe (40% men, 40% women and 20% open to any gender) over the next five years.

About Business in the Community and The Times Top 50 Employers for Women
Business in the Community is the oldest and largest business-led membership organization dedicated to responsible business. It was created nearly 40 years ago by HRH The Prince of Wales to champion responsible business. It inspires, engages and challenges members and mobilizes that collective strength as a force for good in society to:

  • Develop a skilled and inclusive workforce for today and tomorrow;
  • Build thriving communities where people want to live and work;
  • Innovate to sustain and repair our planet.

Each year, Business in The Community invites companies with a presence in the UK to apply for The Times Top 50 Employers for Women by detailing what they are doing to work towards gender equality in their organization. The list is selected by gender equality experts at Business in the Community through a competitive and robust application process. The list is published by The Times. It is unranked and in alphabetical order.

ENDS