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Women at Atkins

Engineering change for women at SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business


For women looking for opportunities in design, engineering and project management, there has never been a better time to join the Atkins business. Our overall vision is to see more women in senior roles. We are making our organisation a better place to work, so that everyone can excel professionally and personally. We’re also investing in our female employees at all career stages. As a result the Atkins business is attracting and retaining more women, and more female employees are being promoted.

Women’s Development Programme (WDP)

Our elective three-month UK-wide programme supports women both within the business and throughout our sector. Female employees who have taken part have experienced real and lasting career changes:

95% report a more proactive approach to career progression
“I completed the WDP a couple of years ago – it still is the course that I remember and I recommend it to everyone who I speak to at Atkins. Since completing the training, I have gained two promotions and feel like I have finally moved on with my career.”

Over 90% feel they have improved their communication skills

50% take on more responsibility before the end of the programme
“In the 2 years since attending the course I have gone from Grade 11 to Grade 13, I have presented at an industry conference and have been nominated for an award!”

20% progress to take on new roles by the end of the programme

99% believe it will contribute to business improvements within the organisation
“Since attending the programme, my career has gone from strength to strength – highlights this year include a nine-week trip around the Atkins world… and yesterday I achieved Grade 15!”

100% stated that the programme had met or exceeded their expectations


Women's Professional Networks (WPNs)

These friendly and informal forums encourage a gender-balanced and inclusive workplace. WPN meetings are held across our offices and have featured presentations on key issues around diversity and inclusion, as well as relevant book reviews and world café events. These networks are also a great space for sharing tips and guidance on working at the business, from working with clients to internal and external networking.

Flexible working

We believe the everyone who works for us deserves to enjoy their work and home lives to the max. Whatever your personal passions or commitments, we offer the industry-leading flexible working that will help you live happily and balanced. Here are some of our options and practices:

  • Term time working
  • Home working and mobile working
  • Part time and job share
  • Sabbatical, or career breaks
  • Phased retirement
  • Buy more leave holiday scheme

A sign of our diverse, changing environment is that this way of working is no longer seen as ‘just for women’. Since 2012 we’ve seen a 74% increase in our male part time population. And almost half of our workforce is now purchasing up to 15 additional days off a year. We’re proud to say that flexing has become an important part of our team culture.

Online Returners programme

This practical tutorial is designed to support parents achieve a healthy equilibrium between a demanding career and happy home life. It’s aimed at those who are returning to work after parental leave or have been back for six months. The online course takes about 8 hours to complete, including self study and telephone coaching sessions. Some of the issues it covers are:

  • Boosting self confidence and motivation
  • Coping with demands of being a working parent, dealing with guilt
  • Reviewing values, priorities and strengthening time management skills
  • Techniques to help communicate boundaries
  • Find the right work/life fit through detailed gap analysis
  • Creating effective support networks at work and at home
  • Review the importance of organisational and professional visibility
  • Review and identify meaningful career goals and next steps for success.

Meet some of our inspiring women and read their stories, here on our blog pages.

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