Skip to main content



Count Her In: Celebrating KBR’s Investment in Women on International Women’s Day 2024

Publish date

The theme for International Women’s Day 2024 is Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress. Based on the priority theme for the United Nations 68th Commission on the Status of Women, Count Her In examines the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women and girls everywhere.

Although significant progress has been made, women around the world continue to face obstacles to achieving equal participation in the economy. This can include anything from managing family commitments to not being provided equal opportunities for education, as well as a global lack of funding toward gender-equality measures. 

Investing in Women at KBR

As a global company working in traditionally male-dominated industries (science, technology, engineering, and defence), we face industry and societal challenges when it comes to achieving gender diversity. But while we may not be perfect, we are making progress and improving our inclusion and diversity practices is high on the agenda. We are committed to accelerating progress toward gender inclusion.

Some of these improvements include:

  • Expanding participation with organizations such as Society of Women Engineers, Greater Houston Women Chamber of Commerce and Military Spouse Employment Program.
  • Proactively monitoring diversity of candidate shortlists and ensuring diverse representation in hiring teams
  • Continually monitoring any potential pay gaps and enhancing family-friendly policies and flexible working to suit different people and lifestyles
  • Using data insights to determine lead indicators and embed these within business - and region-specific inclusion and diversity (I&D) improvement plans
  • Developing and sponsoring talent and employee resource groups (ERGs) that help educate and engage our workforce 

To demonstrate how KBR is investing in women, our people share their personal experiences from around the globe. 



Usha Paptimar 

Technical Professional Leader – Inorganics Technology

A chemical engineer by profession, Usha always aspired to work for a company at the forefront of technological innovation. She has not only found that at KBR, but also a team understands, supports, and take care of one another like family.

Her inspirational journey includes navigating the dynamic working environment among software engineers in the Silicon Valley of Bangalore in the 1990s and balancing her career and family as a woman. 

“Working here, I've found a synergy of talented minds, a committed leadership, and a forward-thinking approach towards a sustainable future for all. What more could one ask for from their dream company!”




Michelle Pennington

Discipline Manager, Water, Environment & Industrial – Infrastructure Solutions Australia

When Michelle joined KBR, she was planning to have another baby quite soon, and made this clear during the interview process. But that didn’t impact her chance of employment with KBR. Her recruiter knew she was the right person for the role, and made sure Michelle felt confident that she would be adequately supported throughout this time in her career. 

Michelle said, “I never expected that I would be offered a leadership role after disclosing that I was planning to have more children in the very near future. But my recruiter – who also happened to be a mother and had been in my shoes – told me that having babies shouldn’t hold you back. This was such a surprising and welcome response, and it reframed my understanding of what was possible for my career as a woman and a mother. It has given me the confidence that KBR has my back and supports my career progression.”



Danielle Moran 

Marketing Communications Strategist – Government Solutions U.S.

Danielle took a brief career break due to her husband’s overseas assignment with the U.S. military. When they returned to the U.S., she began looking for a company that allowed her to work remotely and allowed flexibility in her schedule to balance work and family life. 

She found KBR offered the flexibility she needed, in addition to meaningful work in a positive company culture. 

“KBR is an incredible example of what a leading 21st century workplace should be. As a military spouse, I need the remote, flexible work arrangements KBR offers, and I truly value the company culture and camaraderie with my colleagues,” Danielle said. “It’s rare to find work that’s so meaningful and fulfilling AND a place where you have fun and enjoy working with your teammates every day.” 

Danielle supports the Readiness & Sustainment business unit within Government Solutions U.S., so she helps communicate about the mission-critical work KBR does to support the U.S. military and coalition partners around the globe. She’s proud to be associated with The Team Behind The Misson®.



Penny Vervoorst

Project Controller – Government Solutions, APAC


As a mum of 7 children aged from 9-26, Penny Vervoorst is no stranger to juggling multiple priorities and deadlines. And as a master mathematician, Penny is also passionate about continuous learning and tackling intricate challenges.

She says KBR provided her with a unique opportunity to contribute, which has allowed her to pursue her passion and interests. With the support and encouragement of her manager and colleagues, Penny has expanded her skills by taking advantage of KBR’s Global Mentorship Program and internal training.

“I am proud to work for an organisation that empowers its employees to steer our careers in the direction we desire and provides global opportunities I never dreamed I would have,” says Penny, who has recently begun studying a Graduate Certificate in Business Analytics at the University of Queensland. “KBR has supported my educational endeavours and has fostered an environment where personal and professional growth align seamlessly.”



Sharmila Jugessur

Strategy Director – Government Solutions International

After joining KBR as a Project Director within our Sustainable Technology Solutions business in 2019, there wasn’t much time for Sharmila to figure out the ‘normal’ ways of working before COVID re-wrote the book on what was, and is, the new normal.

Amid everything was the shining light that was the birth of her second child, a moment of joy, but also one that added to the feelings of separation and isolation. She saw the need to challenge the lack of support available and felt confident and safe to speak out.

Since that moment, she felt fully supported on her own journey and has been able to contribute and shape the progressive steps KBR has taken to enhance its benefits and processes to better support those returning after parental leave. 

Sharmila returned to work in May 2021, helping develop KBR’s Advisory offering to key markets, before transitioning between Sustainable Technology Solutions and Government Solutions International, into her current role. This has been another huge positive, one she says she wants to see done more – adding to the diversity of thought across our global footprint, reflective of the diversity of our clients, markets, and capabilities. 


Aspiring to Make KBR Even Greater

KBR has made great strides toward creating an environment where women feel valued, where they can lead and where they can thrive. There is still more work to do, and women are helping lead conversations about areas for improvement across the company, such as gender parity. Helping this effort is ASPIRE, our employee-led resource group dedicated to the development of women and the promotion of gender diversity. 

With a focus on KBR’s Employee Value Proposition ‘Belong, Connect, Grow’, ASPIRE provides content and programming to support the acceleration of gender parity, both as a grassroots, employee led employee resource group (ERG) but also as a business resource group. Through mentorship, leadership development, and informal events, ASPIRE members around the globe are leading the charge when it comes to investing in women and accelerating progress. 

Join us in celebrating women around the globe this International Women’s Day and follow along as KBR continues to make progress on our inclusion and diversity journey. 


Cookie Policy