Imagine Next: The People Make The Place
In our Peachtree Corners office, in Georgia, we have a diverse team of people representing countries from all over the world, and nearly 50 percent of the in-house engineers are women.
That’s something you might not see at a lot of other companies, but gender diversity is an important part of our overall diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts. Our chair, president, and CEO, Carey Smith, prioritizes DEI through the implementation of employee business resource groups, diversity training and policies, and hiring practices that continue to enhance our gender and racial, and ethnic diversity year over year. Because we know that by fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, we’re attracting people who imagine next, increasing innovation, and building a vibrant culture that offers everyone opportunities for growth.
Emilee grew up in north Alabama with a penchant for solving problems and finding creative solutions to complex challenges. The oldest of two children, she was a natural leader who decided during high school that she wanted to study civil engineering. She went to college at Auburn University and did exactly that. Upon graduating, she wanted to live and work in the Atlanta area, so it was kismet when she was hired 10 years ago to work on our Northwest Corridor Express Lanes project, which is—to date—the largest project ever constructed in Georgia.
Emilee knew when she interviewed that Parsons was where she wanted to be: “I knew right away that Parsons was the best fit for me during the interview process because of our reputation, the diversity of the projects we work on, and how authentic and genuine the questions were that were asked of me. My interviewers wanted to know about me as a whole person and were so personable. They understood that Parsons would have to be a good fit for my life as much as I needed to be a good fit for them.”
And we have turned out to be an excellent fit for Emilee, as much as Emilee is an excellent fit for us. Not only has she been able to work on exciting projects, but she went from being a junior entry-level engineer doing drainage design on the Northwest Corridor project to being a project manager—an impressive rise.
“People here have so much knowledge and experience to share with each other. And if you’re willing to listen, your opportunities are endless,” says Emilee.
That’s not to say that Emilee waited around for an opportunity to fall into her lap. She admits to being aggressive when it came to going after what she wanted and saying yes to everything. Emilee says, “I’ve been judged based on my performance, not years under my belt, and the same opportunities are available to everyone. I just made sure that I went after all of them.”
She credits her leaders, too, who recognized her tenacity and willingness to jump in and solve a problem whenever she could, as well as her willingness to continue learning.
According to Emilee, Parsons provides more than just the same opportunity to everyone. Equity means providing support in accordance with each individual’s needs. As a new mom, she was afforded the flexibility she needed to go to doctor appointments and take the time off she wanted, and when she was ready to jump back in, full speed ahead, she was able to, without missing a beat, as was her intention all along.
“I just felt this deep level of respect and understanding from my colleagues. They enabled me to do whatever I needed to do in my personal life and pick back up where my career left off when I was ready,” says Emilee.
Now Emilee’s in a position where she can give back that same level of understanding, support, and opportunity to others—especially to all the other women in the office. With so many female colleagues, she has the benefit of being insulated from the monoculture she often sees at things like industry events. Here she’s not the minority.
With a workplace like ours that embraces and encourages diversity, equity, and inclusion, Emilee, and others, have no ceiling. Parsons is a place where it’s easy for her to imagine what’s next in terms of workplace culture, employee morale, and success, because here is a place where everyone collaborates, learns, and grows.
Are you ready to imagine next with us? Apply here!