WSP USA Evaluating Practices to Ensure Inclusion, Diversity

Executive leadership looks for guidance from firm’s employee-driven Inclusion and Diversity Council to evaluate interactions, chart course for the future.

NEW YORK CITY — In response to recent events, WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, is looking to its national Inclusion and Diversity Council to evaluate the firm’s practices to ensure equal opportunity and fairness for all employees and partners.

“At WSP USA, we want to reflect inclusion and diversity in everything we do; and as an organization, we aim to connect with each other, to elevate and expand the role of inclusion and diversity in our thinking and in our work.” said Lou Cornell, president and CEO of WSP USA. “Like many of you, I have watched the recent news with despair and sadness. Those images remind me that we must do our part to eradicate prejudice of any kind. Such change will only come by having honest discussions and taking deliberative action to foster inclusion and to celebrate diversity throughout our institutions, everywhere.”

The Inclusion and Diversity Council, chaired by Tanya Adams, WSP vice president and community relations and diversity manager, will work with Human Resources and the leadership team to develop next steps as an organization in further fostering and driving inclusion and diversity at WSP.

“Making a positive change is about strength in numbers, and that requires participation and firm resolve from all levels,” Adams said. “When leadership takes a strong stand with no ambiguity, it strengthens the entire organization. Open communication at every level encourages engagement and ensures that everyone understands the direction, plan, mission and the stand of the firm.”

Denise Turner Roth, WSP USA chief development officer, will lead the efforts in implementing key strategies for guidance and resources on how to talk about race, recognize racism and prejudice. The Council is looking at hosting roundtable events for honest and authentic dialogue on race, developing a speaker series and continuing to implement workshops on anti-bias, sensitivity and creating authentic relationships. The importance of raising a voice for inequality at in “We Stand Together: Because We Can,” a video highlighting what we stand for at WSP.

Initiatives will include evaluation on strengthening WSP’s strategic plan that can be followed and measured to ensure that the firm’s goals and practices promote accountability and collaboration, and a willingness to listen, support and new ideas wherever they originate.

“Everyone must be engaged in all levels, and we must use these values to determine what projects we pursue, how we pursue them, and the roles that everyone plays when we are successful,” Roth said. “That includes a fair and inclusive hiring process, and WSP’s robust talent management process will continue to carefully consider each candidate fairly and inclusively based upon their merits and abilities.

“We must break barriers and create a new dynamic that asserts that everyone has equal value and should be treated as such,” Cornell said. “At WSP we often say, ‘Imagine the Future’. But our future is only bright if we value all voices, ideas, differences and beliefs. The time has never been more crucial and never more necessary than right now.”

WSP USA is the U.S. operating company of WSP, one of the world's leading engineering and professional services firms. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment markets. With more than 9,500 employees in 150 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper.

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