Engineers Canada calls for more women to enter profession

Engineers-Canada-women-engineering-profession-science-mathnematics-diversity-innovation-EDIWeekly

Less than 12 per cent of licensed, practising engineers in Canada are women, according to Engineers Canada. In the UK the number is even lower: 7 per cent. This in spite of the obvious truth that women make up half the population in both countries. Engineers Canada has made a commitment to attract more women to the engineering profession. Its “30 by 30” program seeks to raise the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30 per cent by the year 2030. In honour of International Women’s Day, the CEO of Engineers Canada called on all stakeholders to continue their efforts to make that a reality.

The group says that achieving the 30 by 30 goal is vital to the sustainability of the profession, and its ability to “innovate for the safety and well-being of society.” Diversity in the workplace has “proven value” for innovation, creativity and economic competitiveness, according to the Engineers Canada Vice-President, Strategy and Partnerships, Jeanette M Southwood. For this reason, Engineers Canada supports the 30 by 30 goal with a number of activities, including planning guides for employees and employers regarding maternity leave in the engineering professions, and support for research projects that aim to identify and reduce barriers to women’s entry into those professions.

Diversity has proven value in the workplace for innovation, creativity and economic competitiveness in a global economy. Engineers Canada is therefore dedicated to working with its members, partners and other stakeholders to advance diversity within the engineering profession.

One of the biggest barriers to women in engineering is attitudinal. In Britain, three-quarters of women interviewed by the Royal Academy for Engineering (RAE) said that they regarded engineering as a “male career.” This problem of sexism has its roots in primary and high school, according to the RAE, where the STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—are already viewed (and often presented) as “boy subjects.” Girls are not only not encouraged to consider careers in science and engineering, they are often actively discouraged. The sexism then continues at the industry level, with many women finding themselves subjected to discrimination and worse.

In its guide for regulators and engineering stakeholders, “Reaching 30 by 30,” Engineers Canada calls on organizations to undertake a number of internal and external activities. Appoint a staff person to be a “women in engineering champion” who can work to promote the goal. Creating a Women in Engineering committee to support staff efforts is another step organizations can take. Creating and supporting scholarships for female engineering students, and encouraging women engineers to become role models, particularly for high school students, are other ways to help achieve the goal.

The complete Engineers Canada guide can be found here.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • Fracking study finds methane emissions lower than EPA estimates
  • Renewables poised for big growth in short term: IEA
  • 2018 Oil Price Forecasts
  • Propellant leak during emergency abort sets back Boeing's spacecraft development for NASA
  • Thunder Child, the unsinkable boat? Self-righting, wavepiercing interceptor engineered to be the perfect boat for offshore patrol
  • Demand for 100K engineers over next ten years in Canada
  • Airbus Helicopters announces new production at Fort Erie plant
  • Commodities firm sues Shell, BP, Statoil for price fixing
  • Chinese market for water pumps expected to triple by 2017
  • SpaceX and ULA Score Major Air Force Contracts
  • GE Aviation opens new robotics facility in Quebec
  • Kite-style Technology Produces Tidal Power: Green Energy
  • Housing starts, employment, up sharply in May
  • Manufacturing sales off in November led by cars, chemicals
  • Siemens Canada announces order for 270-MW wind project in Ontario
  • Shipyard receives $65.4 million under national shipbuilding strategy
  • Artificial pancreas would reduce need for self-care by diabetics, improve insulin delivery
  • Pros and Cons of EDM: What is electrical discharge machining, and how does it work?
  • WindTwin digital platform increases efficiency on wind farms and tests maintenance upgrades
  • Manufacturers and employers win with new Labour rules in Ontario; jobs did increase 17,600 in January 2019
Scroll to Top