As a woman who has recently finished her fourth year of engineering, it is obvious to me and many of my peers that I am not among the majority in engineering spaces. Women studying engineering is barely above the 20% mark, and the number of licenced female engineers in Canada is a mere 13%. Recognizing this, Engineers Canada has championed a 30 by 30 initiative which has the goal of raising the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30 percent by the year 2030, which the CFES supports.
Despite the adversity, being a woman in engineering is fantastic. We bring diversity to teams, which is a proven catalyst for innovation and success. It is an engineer’s duty to serve the public, and when we have as diverse as a country as Canada, our engineers need to reflect that diversity.
Furthermore, our approaches in increasing the proportion of women in engineering must look at the issue through an intersectional lens, we cannot look at gender alone. When we talk about including more women in engineering, we must include queer women, women of colour, Indigenous women, and women of all abilities.
The CFES runs an annual Conference on Diversity in Engineering, which I was fortunate enough to chair in 2017, is revamping a stance on Diversity and Inclusion, as well as various other CFES initiatives which are in the planning stages. We recognize this need to increase the number of women and other underrepresented groups in engineering.
Join us on this day of celebrating successful women in engineering, and recognizing the role we all play in fostering a more diverse and inclusive engineering community.
June 23 is International Women in Engineering Day. Check out Engineers Canada to learn more on the 30 by 30 initiative.
By Dani Lake