Several recent events have highlighted the wide-scale commitment by individuals and groups across Canada to 30 by 30—Engineers Canada’s national goal to have women comprise 30 per cent of newly licensed engineers by 2030.
On January 10 and 11, 2018, Engineers Canada hosted the first-ever in-person meeting of the 30 by 30 Champions. The Champions, who represent Canada’s engineering regulators, post-secondary institutions, and other engineering organizations, met in Ottawa to discuss how they could amplify each other’s individual efforts to advance the goal. Above all, there was a shared recognition that making progress towards the 30 by 30 target will require a national strategy for working together.
The champions group established first steps towards this strategy by setting deliverables for 2018, including consistent messaging for external audiences. Another key point of discussion was the question of how Engineers Canada can better support the group. Ideas included access to a detailed resource map and diversity training for Champions.
Manitoba, for its part, launched its own effort to help achieve 30 by 30. On January 17, 2018, Manitoba Environment Minister Rochelle Squires announced the “Engineering Changes Lives” initiative, noting that women currently represent 15.1 per cent of new engineers and nine per cent of all registered engineers in the province. These statistics, she emphasized, highlight the urgent need for greater diversity in all STEM fields.
The Society of Women Engineers Toronto also recently endorsed the 30 by 30 target and has been actively working to make it a reality. Among their efforts are monthly Coffee Club discussions and the Eng-Style Connecting Speaker Series, where career engineering graduates and Engineering Interns (EITs) along with professionals working in STEM can share their stories with early-career graduates. These programs aim to facilitate the retention engineering graduates who are women in the profession and to encourage them to pursue licensure.
Each of these developments reflects at it’s heart a big idea: that the way to 30 by 30 will be combined, sustained efforts that draw together the talent and dedication of individuals in service of the greater goal.