Construction is an industry that is still largely dominated by men – statistics show that women comprise only around 10% of this overall global workforce.

Arcadis is therefore especially proud that two of our employees have won the prestigious Women in Construction and Engineering Awards (WICE). Anette Beijaard was awarded the 2021 WICE Award for Best Woman in Highways, and Silvia Gioja won Best Woman in Tunnelling & Underground Construction.

Mobility is a key business area at Arcadis and we develop sustainable and innovative solutions to transform the way people around and between our cities. Specifically, we create value in the mobility space by addressing such trends that are impacting it such as climate change, digitalization, and urbanization. The work Anette and Silvia do is key to designing, realizing and managing assets that optimize the mobility of people and goods – this includes roads, heavy & light rail, airports and ports.

Arcadis prides itself on being a People First culture and we believe diversity drives innovation and leadership.  A key aspect of our “Maximizing Impact” strategy launched in November 2020 is achieving >40% target of women in our workforce. Having a flexible approach to work, allows our people to work in a way that suits their needs now and in the future. Thus empowering employees to work in a way that creates a positive life balance.

Silvia Gioja started her career in Italy in infrastructure and buildings and over the years specialized in tunneling and underground construction projects.  In Sept 2018 she joined Arcadis in Antwerp and in just three years progressed from a BIM Coordinator to BIM lead for Belgium’s infrastructure team, making 3D models of the tunnels in Flanders helping to better design and maintain these assets. During this time she also became a mother and greatly values that at Arcadis she was able to grow her career while meeting the obligations of caring for a newborn.

On winning the award Silvia Gioja, Best Woman in Tunnelling and Underground Construction said: “I’m so thrilled to win the WICE Award, not just for myself, but also those people who have supported me over the years. I recognize it doesn’t stop here, and I’d like to help create a path for more women to explore careers in our industry. Hopefully showing through my example how we can be resilient, have a growth mindset, multi-task and work on inspiring projects that truly make a difference!”

Anette Beijaard began her career working as a maintenance team leader on a power plant. She has had a diverse and exciting career spanning 18 years, 11 of which have been at Arcadis in various leadership roles in the Netherlands, most recently as Head of the Advisory Group for Road and Rail combined with the interim Head Advisory of Overhead Wiring and Underground Infrastructure. Anette is passionate about all things technical and finds immense pride in collaborative work.  She is driven by empowering others to grow and succeed and is most proud of the work she has done to help her colleagues and teams be successful in their work.

“The infrastructure sector and the people in it are pretty ‘conservative’ with the approach - if something works, why change it. I hope to inspire them and challenge them to change, to step outside comfort zones and explore new opportunities that can only help us grow. Just step by step. I also think it’s important to contribute towards creating an open and level playing field for all talented people to have opportunities and belief in their capabilities – irrespective of their gender, age and background.” – Anette Beijaard, Best Woman in Highways Winner.

At Arcadis we are committed to increasing the gender balance in our workforce, to support and encourage women’s active participation in our projects. We value and recognize the contribution women make across Arcadis. And we will continue to strive to create an environment where all of our people can be at their best professionally and personally as did our two inspiring 2021 WICE award winners.