At Engineers Canada we're excited to celebrate Pride Month and all that it means for creating a more inclusive engineering profession. Earlier this year, we announced our partnership with the student-led EngiQueers Canada, a national organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ rights among engineering students. In light of this, we asked two EngiQueers leaders for their takes on what the partnership means and why it's important to celebrate engineering during Pride Month.
Emily Abelseth, President EngiQueers Canada
It’s June! Happy Pride Month!
As the new President of EQ Canada, I would like to introduce myself and extend my gratitude to Engineers Canada for entering into an exciting new partnership with us. By supporting student run advocacy groups, Engineers Canada is setting a precedent for other engineering organizations across Canada. This partnership showcases the commitment of Engineers Canada to facilitate progress towards increased diversity and inclusion in the engineering profession.
We are constantly working to make engineering a more inclusive space. With over 30 member groups across the country, the EQ Canada network provides visibility, support, and advocacy for LGBTQ2+ engineering students. Our members provide a sustainable community for their students through social events, educational sessions, and professional development. To name a few, UWaterloo EngiQueers hosts drop in socials for LGBTQ2+ engineering students; Leadership Through Diversity UVic provides anti-oppression training for the Engineering Student Society and other engineering clubs; and EngOut at Ryerson hosts industry nights for students to network with inclusive companies. By increasing ally-ship, and helping students, academic faculty, and professional engineers understand the benefits of diversity and inclusion, queer engineering students can complete their education and continue into the professional world without being hindered by obstacles related to gender and sexuality.
Throughout June, July, and August, EQ Canada members will be marching at Pride parades across the country. Marching in Pride gives valuable representation to the LGBTQ2+ community in engineering. It helps break the stereotype that the engineering field is a conservative boys-club, which is especially important to young LGBTQ2+ folks who might not have otherwise considered STEM as an option based on its historical culture. You’ll see us at Toronto Pride on June 21, Victoria Pride on July 7, and Capital Pride on August 25. Feel free to drop by and say hello!
Engineering students from UVic, UBC, and SFU, marching at Vancouver Pride in 2017.
Taken at the Conference on Diversity in Engineering (CDE) 2018, hosted by Ryerson University in Toronto on November 9-12, 2018.
Left to right: Broderic Clement-Thorne, VP 2018-19; Trent Chappus, VP 2019-20; Emily Abelseth, President 2019-20; Vanessa Raponi, Co-Founder & National Councillor; Madeline Victoria Sialtsis, President 2018-19; Alexander Dow, Co-Founder & National Councillor
As the incoming Vice-President of EngiQueers Canada, I would also like to introduce myself and echo Emily’s gratitude for the support of Engineers Canada. Working together, we can work to celebrate, promote, and advocate for diversity in engineering in workplaces and on university campuses across Canada.
Emily’s appointment to the position of President is exceptionally exciting for EQ Canada, as she will serve as our first President from Western Canada. In addition to our partnerships with Engineering Student Societies' Council of Ontario and La communauté étudiante en ingénierie du Québec, this represents how we have grown to a truly nationwide organization in such little time. I am excited to work with her and our incoming board members to grow our resources, improve our sustainability, and implement our pillars of social connection, education & advocacy, and professional development.
To showcase how we are providing professional development opportunities for LGBTQ2+ engineering students, I invite you to check out our newest initiative: https://caneqt.ca. The Career Advisory Network for EngiQueers Teams is our platform that connects EQ members to professionals to participate in campus events and provide career advice. Currently in beta, we are working to grow this platform into a core asset.
Again, thank you to Engineers Canada for your support and your commitment to making STEM a more inclusive field.