NEW YORK — WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, has been recognized for its efforts in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion with awards presented by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) chapters in New York (NY) and Pennsylvania (PA).
WSP received the 2022 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Award from ACEC-NY and the 2022 Diamond Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from ACEC-PA. The awards recognize the firm’s commitment at a state-wide level to building an inclusive culture and workplace that supports staff development, belonging, team activities and mentorship programs.
WSP’s executive leadership team emphasized this company culture by creating the Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Council. Through training offerings and programs that focus on a variety of topics including unconscious bias, authentic communication, the value of diverse teams and mental health and well-being for marginalized groups, WSP makes it a priority to cultivate an inclusive culture for employees. Employees are encouraged to advocate for themselves, to give back to their professions and communities by teaching and mentoring others and to seek career growth opportunities within the company.
“WSP has leadership and a workforce built upon a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion in the office, in the field and in the communities where we live,” said Bernie McNeilly, WSP northeast region president. “Employees are provided with an opportunity to grow and pursue their own career goals regardless of gender or ethnicity by allowing them to learn and develop their skills in the discipline of their choice, whether or not it was the position in which they were originally hired.”
In its announcement of the award, ACEC-NY highlighted WSP’s successful I&D Ambassador program, where ambassadors in each office focus on improving the inclusion and diversity of the firm’s staff in New York and across the U.S.
The New York office is also an active supporter of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-Tech) program, which focuses on bringing together high schools, colleges and the engineering workplace to create educational opportunities for underserved communities and students. Joni Edwards, a bridge inspector for WSP, was one of the first to volunteer as a leader for the program and was instrumental in bringing it to City Poly Technical High School for Architecture, Engineering and Technology, her alma mater.
“I’m really excited about what we are doing here at WSP with the P-Tech program,” Edwards said. “It’s bringing about actual change and helping people in a tangible way.” She added that she was able to implement her ideas for the program thanks to the support of her manager, Salvatore Iodice, senior vice president and department manager in the Valhalla, New York office. “I consider myself fortunate to have him as an advocate and as a manager. Without his leadership and support, we wouldn’t have this program today.”