Jo Metcalfe, GHD’s Manager – Canberra and Southern NSW, has
been named as one of the most inspiring leaders in the
infrastructure consulting sector, receiving the prestigious 2016
Female Champion of Change award from industry association Consult
The award recognises Jo as an outstanding leader who has made a
remarkable difference to the bottom line, increased employee
engagement, supported flexible working practices, and contributed
to increasing the company’s diversity.
A landscape architect, Jo was the first woman in Australia to
have been appointed to manage one of GHD’s ‘operating centres’,
comprising offices in Canberra, Bega, Nowra and Wagga Wagga. She
has played a key role in growing revenue in this region at a
phenomenal annual compound rate of 30 percent.
She explains, “We are continually punching above our weight in a
challenging market, contributing to multidisciplinary projects
through inter-office collaboration, and supporting the growth of
our international offices. What’s more, our employee engagement
rate has grown to 73 percent in 2016, one of the highest at
More recently, Jo helped to implement initiatives and policies
to address gender diversity, flexible working conditions,
unconscious bias, Indigenous internships and personal leave
Her current passion is to develop Indigenous enterprise through
helping federal, state/territory and local governments shape
procurement policies that enable Indigenous-owned businesses to
start, grow and succeed.
According to Phil Duthie, GHD’s General Manager Australia, “Jo
is a talented leader who combines being a mum with managing a
high-performing team and contributing to industry associations. She
is a great role model for women at GHD and has earned the respect
of her peers by not being afraid to challenge the norms.”
Leader in diversity
While no company received Consult Australia’s Diversity Award
for Excellence this year, GHD was the only one to be Highly
Commended for accelerating diversity within its workforce in a way
that aligns its core values and business strategy.
The judges recognised GHD for developing a comprehensive
Diversity & Inclusion Step-up Plan in 2014 and progressively
‘embedding’ it in the company’s culture across three years.
Phil says, “We look forward to continuing to build a workforce
that is truly diverse and inclusive, that connects with our
clients, and is a role model for our industry.”
Engaging stakeholders for success
GHD was also acknowledged alongside its client and partners for
setting new benchmarks for public participation on the Hanwood
Modernisation Project near Griffith in New South Wales.
The Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area Renewal Alliance, made up of
Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI), GHD, John Holland Group and UGL, was
Highly Commended for exemplary collaboration.
To successfully deliver this major upgrade, MIARA introduced a
new public participation process, with a multi-level approach to
engage more than 200 farmers, who are also the customers and
shareholders of MI.