Atkins – Moving the Dial on Diversity


27% – 30%

increase in the proportion of women in the workforce**

Over 66%

of programme participants promoted within a year**

14% – 18%

increase of women at senior grades**

7% – 9%

increase in women’s retention rates across all grades**


“The Skills 4 programme is an integral part of our commitment to developing a truly inclusive workplace. Its success over the last 10 years has meant that women in our organisation feel more empowered than ever to put themselves forward for stretch opportunities and promotions – a huge step forward for us and our sector.”

Victoria Jones, Global Vice-President, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Victoria Jones, Global Vice-President, Equality, Diversity & Inclusion



87% of delegates believe the programme contributes to improved workplace culture*


100% would recommend the programme to a colleague*


100% said the programme exceeded or met expectations 62% exceeded 38% met*

Atkins – Investing in their women and measuring success

Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, was one of the first organisations to take up, in-house, the Women’s Career Development Programme. Atkins made the commitment to increase workforce diversity, from which a gender balance focus group was created. This group identified the need to improve the career development of women already in its talent pipeline and to improve staff retention rates.

To date, Atkins have supported 1,429 women to attend the Skills 4 programme (2011-2021)


The programme is rated highly from the women who take part.
Participant feedback shows by the end of the programme*:

  • 96% had higher levels of confidence/self-belief.
  • 96% had improved their communication skills.
  • 93% were more positive about progression within their organisation.
  • 61% took extra responsibility within their current role.

Further data from Atkins shows an increase, across all levels of seniority, in the number of women in the workforce. The gender pay gap data also evidences an increase in the number of women in the upper-middle quartile**.

The Women’s Development Programme fosters additional benefits including the natural creation of women’s networks within Atkins. These networks enable participants to access ongoing support and increases the number of female role models which – research suggests – aids the number of women entering and remaining in the sector.


We are committed to supporting and developing our skilled and talented women. Offering targeted interventions at the right time in their careers can significantly impact both their development and our ability to retain a valuable workforce. Partnering with Skills 4 has delivered visible benefits to us as an organisation.

Jilly Calder, Vice President Human Resources at Atkins
Jilly Calder, Vice President Human Resources at Atkins


The Women’s Development Programme plays a key part in our drive towards becoming a more diverse and inclusive place to work. The WDP has had a significant impact on our workforce diversity figures with retention rates and women in mid-senior level roles increasing year on year. Over two thirds of the women have gained promotion within a year of the training. The WDP helps those who attend to be even more effective, whilst remaining authentic to themselves and building on the skills they already have.”

David Jenkins, Director, Transportation at Atkins
David Jenkins, Director, Transportation at Atkins




*Atkins training impact evaluation report 2021

**Retaining and promoting a more gender-diverse workforce in an engineering consultancy through specific development training – Isobel Houghton

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