Each June, Engineers Canada celebrates Pride Month and what it means to create a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive engineering profession for LGBTQ2S+ persons. For many years now, Engineers Canada has been proud to partner with and support EngiQueers Canada, a nationwide non-profit organization that represents over 30 member groups at engineering schools across the country.
As a valued partner, Engineers Canada was proud to host EngiQueers Canada’s leadership team at our offices in early June for their executive retreat. And as we celebrate Pride Month, we asked EngiQueers Canada to tell our Engineering Matters audience more about the work that they do, and offer advice for how people can be stronger allies for LGBTQ2S+ persons in engineering. Our interview with Mymoon Bhuiyan, EngiQueers Canada Vice-President, is below.
Engineers Canada: What is EngiQueers’ vision and mission? What is it that you do?
Mymoon Bhuiyan: EngiQueers Canada is a nationwide non-profit organization representing over 30 member groups at engineering schools nationwide. Our vision is to build a strong and diverse network of queer/queer-allies professionals, supporting queer students in finding queer-friendly workplaces and networks. EngiQueers Canada focuses on three pillars: professional development, education and advocacy, and social connection. We work to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion through training workshops, resource sharing, and advocacy efforts. Additionally, our main goal is to connect queer students across Canadian universities, fostering social cohesion and lifelong friendships.
Engineers Canada: What advice do you have for people to be stronger allies?
Mymoon Bhuiyan: To be a stronger ally, it is important to educate yourself about LGBTQ+ issues, actively listen to queer voices, use inclusive language, stand up against discrimination, amplify queer voices within your organization, donate to LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, and be a supportive friend. These actions create a more inclusive and accepting environment for queer individuals.
Engineers Canada: What is one misconception or mistake you see often repeated?
Mymoon Bhuiyan: One common misconception is the limited focus on queer issues only during Pride Month or specific calendar dates. EngiQueers Canada emphasizes that queer issues are year-round and must be addressed continuously. It is essential to work consistently to create inclusive communities and workplaces, implementing long-term policies and support systems beyond Pride Month. This includes structural changes within organizations and addressing inequalities.
Engineers Canada: If you had one message for engineers, engineering employers, or companies, on the occasion of Pride month, what would it be?
Mymoon Bhuiyan: On the occasion of Pride Month, EngiQueers Canada highlights the historic significance of the LGBTQ+ community's progress and encourages engineers, engineering employers, and companies to recognize and support queer individuals. We emphasize the importance of having queer individuals in leadership positions within organizations, not solely because of our identity but because our unique lived experiences provide valuable perspectives for solving complex societal and engineering problems. EngiQueers Canada advocates for creating solutions that consider the diverse stakeholders in our communities.
Engineers Canada: How can people get involved in the work you do?
Mymoon Bhuiyan: Professionals can join the Canadian Advisory Network of Engineers who identify as Queer and/or Trans* (CANEQT), EngiQueers Canada's professional network. CANEQT connects LGBTQ2+ engineering students with professionals and queer-friendly companies, offering mentorship opportunities and facilitating participation in on-campus events.
Professional organizations can support EngiQueers Canada by purchasing EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) training or engaging in networking initiatives. Supporting the EngiQueers Canada Conference as a sponsor helps bring students from all chapters together for networking and collaboration.
Students can get involved by joining their school's EngiQueers Canada chapter organization or seeking support in starting one if it doesn't exist.
Engineers Canada: How are you celebrating Pride Month?
Mymoon Bhuiyan: EngiQueers Canada is celebrating Pride month by participating in marches in Ottawa, ON, and Montreal, QC. Our chapter organizations across Canada, including Toronto, ON, are also organizing pride events and initiatives. Additionally, EngiQueers Canada is collaborating with organizations and companies to create more queer-friendly spaces and promote inclusivity.
Learn more about EngiQueers and their work and initiatives on the EngiQueers Canada website.