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Category: celebrating women, gender and equality, career for women
Meet Arcadis Account Director Kayleigh Owen
Kayleigh Owen is an Account Director at Arcadis .
An engaging, determined and people-centred woman, Kayleigh helps build relationships with Arcadis’ third biggest UK client, Highways England. She supports Arcadis in best responding to their needs and ultimately helping make both Highways England them and Arcadis as successful as possible.
Kayleigh shares with Where Women Work her and her teams role in playing a huge part in the success of the company and speaks about the importance of driving diversity within the industry.
Responsible for meeting client needs
Kayleigh leads a team of over 400 people working on a variety of commissions for Highways England, and it is her responsibility to make sure they are managing the projects well and meeting client needs, in addition to winning new work and growing the relationship.
“I have a keen focus on our team and on supporting the many great managers we have who help all our people develop and grow on this account,” explains Kayleigh.
“My team has a huge part to play in the success of our business. They are a fantastic group, and I am proud to be part of the team.”
Becoming a Partner with Arcadis
In 2019, Kayleigh became a member of Arcadis as a Partner, which she says is one of her proudest moments to date. She remembers joining the business in 2007 and looking at the Partners running the office and thinking how she wanted to make sure she would be a Partner one day too.
“Arcadis is a fantastic place to work and have a real drive to improve diversity and inclusion but as in the industry as a whole there are always fewer women in those senior leadership roles, so it felt like a great achievement to reach that career milestone,” she adds.
The importance of companies looking inwards
Kayleigh believes that the construction industry overall has developed a significant focus on being more inclusive over the past 20 years or so, and she herself has certainly seen a huge shift in her 15 years since leaving university.
“There is, however, always more work to be done when it comes to increasing diversity and embracing inclusion,” she comments.
Kayleigh has always felt supported by Arcadis. She has, however, met many people across the construction industry who have not been as fortunate.
Kayleigh believes that companies need to invest in their people and look inwards. They need to be honest about the support that teams require from leaders because this is essential. Then, having that commitment right from the very top to do better is essential.
Committed to being a visible ally for those around her
Allyship and calling out bias and inequality is a huge part of a company moving forward with their diversity and inclusion agenda, Kayleigh believes.
“I want to personally commit to being a visible ally for those around me who may need my support. I always want to speak out against bias and inequality because we can all play our part in making society and the workplace more inclusive. It’s equally important that we can all recognise and value the collective difference we can make.”
Promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace
For Kayleigh, International Women’s Day provides an important opportunity - not solely for celebrating women’s success, but to also highlight the disparity that remains across all sections of society.
“Arcadis has a strong diversity and inclusion focus and we invest heavily in this agenda and in our people, all year round.
“International Women’s Day provides a useful opportunity for us to be able to celebrate the success of our team, while continuing to promote building a more inclusive and diverse workplace with our people, our clients and the wider industry,” she suggests.
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