Arup appoints diversity and inclusion pioneer Abbie Wright

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
3 December 2018

Arup in Australasia has appointed a well-known and respected leader of workplace diversity and inclusion - Abbie Wright - to continue the evolution of Arup’s inclusive culture. 

Abbie has held senior diversity roles and received accolades for her work, including the 2014 Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Champion and the 2017 South Australian National Association for Women in Construction Crystal Vision Award. 

Abbie Wright Abbie Wright

People and Culture Leader Phoebe Ryssenbeek said: “We’re delighted to have Abbie on board. With her expertise, she will further facilitate our culture – one which brings forward diverse people and perspectives to stimulate creativity and innovation, which are hallmarks of Arup.” 

Abbie brings a deep understanding of the positive outcomes from creating a work environment where everyone feels valued and respected, regardless of difference, and is encouraged by visible, inclusive leadership.

“My role at Arup is to develop an already strong foundation for a diverse and inclusive workplace, where people can bring their whole selves to work. I see opportunity to support and champion leaders to get the best from diverse teams,” she said. 

Abbie will be a core member of Arup’s Australasia Region Diversity and Inclusion Executive. She will work closely with teams on strategies to pursue diversity and inclusion, and support office leaders to develop culture and lead inclusively. 

“Through inclusive leadership, diversity of thought can thrive, enabling teams to apply creativity and innovation to design solutions,” she said.

I’m a strong advocate of diverse teams because they produce better outcomes and are much more enjoyable to work in. However, it’s not just gender diversity, it’s diversity of thought, diversity of education, diversity of ethnicity. ”

Peter Chamley Peter Chamley Former Chair, Australasia Region

Abbie’s appointment will help raise the profile of diversity and inclusion within the engineering, infrastructure and design industries to influence better outcomes in workplace diversity.  

She sits on the Board of the Diversity Council of Australia, is an Implementation Leader for the Male Champions of Change Institute for Consult Australia and was previously a member of the MCC STEM implementation manager group. 

Arup’s Australasia membership includes 65 different nationalities, with more than 60 percent speaking a primary language other than English. Initiatives such as working flexibly have been embraced by almost half the team, and support measures have been put in place such as extended parental leave.