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Engineers Canada releases resource for engineering employers to increase diversity

2020.09.10

Engineers Canada has released a new resource with actions that engineering employers can undertake to increase diversity and women’s participation at various levels in their organizations.

Research shows many companies are struggling to ensure women are represented fairly in top management and in retention numbers. Progress toward gender parity remains slow and the engineering profession is one of the few licensed professions where men continue to vastly outnumber women.

“Given barriers to entry and retention, implicit bias, workplace cultures that are not inclusive and other challenges, there is significant work to be done,” said Jeanette M. Southwood, Engineers Canada’s Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Partnerships. “Collaboration is key. Engineers Canada can’t make change alone. Women can’t make change alone. None of us can journey alone to 30 by 30.”

The new resource is a product of Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 network, a collaborative national initiative to increase the number of women in the engineering profession and see 30 per cent of newly licensed engineers be women by 2030. With the new resources, the 30 by 30 network is inviting employers to join this collaborative effort to change organizational cultures, be intolerant to harassment and discrimination, promote policies that enable work-life balance within the engineering profession, and create more welcoming workplace environments.

The new resource outlines actions that engineering employers can take to make these changes and to create more welcoming workplace environments for everyone. These tactics include a commitment from leadership, the creation of a plan to achieve your stated diversity goals and objectives, a good understanding of your employees and their perspectives of your company, improving hiring and recruiting practices, implementing career advancement supports, and sharing and applying best practices with others in the engineering profession.

All of the actions are described in greater detail in the employer resource package on Engineers Canada’s website.