Arup signs Diversity Agenda Accord, New Zealand

Trish Sunga Trish Sunga Australasia Press Office,Sydney
12 September 2022

Arup has signed the Diversity Agenda’s Accord joining other New Zealand Engineering and Architecture firms committed to shaping a more inclusive industry. 

The aim of the Accord is for engineers and architects to represent everyone, so the world they create is as diverse and inspiring as the people in it. 

The Accord was born from a necessity to accelerate diversity and inclusion through three tenets; leader led, staff influenced, and a focus on inclusive behaviours. It uses a peer accountability model to ensure firms comply with the commitments they make. 

Accountability includes a yearly report and data tracking, with firms removed who do not maintain the requirements they have signed up for. 

New Zealand Geography Leader Mayurie Gunatilaka said the creation of an inclusive, safe and respectful environment where our people can bring their whole selves to work is her highest priority. 

“The Arup leadership team is committed to role modelling and enabling inclusive behaviours, including opportunities for leaders themselves to consider if they are being as inclusive as they think they are,” said Mayurie.

Signing the Accord follows a review of Arup’s Equal Opportunity Policy, and demonstrates Arup’s ongoing commitment to adopt a person-centred approach to the prevention and elimination of negative behaviours in the workplace. 

The Accord allows for an intersectional approach to addressing inequality and aligns with the recent launch of the Arup Race, Ethnicity and Culture Action Plan (RECAP). Launched with the support of the New Zealand Human Rights Commissioner Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, the RECAP will facilitate deeper understanding by Arup members on why racism happens in the workplace and its lasting impact.

“Engineers and architects create the world around us. We want designers to include everyone, so the world they create is as diverse and inspiring as the people in it. That’s why we’re committed to making our industries in New Zealand inclusive for all. But we can’t do it alone, which is why we’re delighted to have Arup join us as a Diversity Agenda Accord signatory. We need Senior leaders advocating at the top to help drive positive change so everyone feels they belong and can thrive in the industry.”

“Whether in the front line or a supporting role, everyone has the right to feel they belong – where they are safe, supported and valued. Anything less will not reflect the communities we support,” said Charlotte Downes, Accord Programme Director.