Engineers Canada is dedicated to enhancing gender diversity in the engineering professions, where women remain under-represented. Improving retention increases diversity and one area that is crucial for the retention of skilled and valued talent is improving practices around managing maternity leave for women.
Engineers Canada endorses Bill C243 – a national maternity assistance program and changes to the Employment Insurance Act that will be a great first step towards eliminating the individual, organizational and societal barriers women still experience in and out of the engineering profession. There are instances in which engineers may work under demanding and even dangerous conditions. By giving women better tools to manage their professional lives, the engineering profession can actively engage, include and embrace gender diversity as a means of improving the profession for the benefit of both its members and Canadians. “Bill C243 will be invaluable for engineers who are women, for their families and for their employers,” said Kim Allen, MBA, FCAE, FEC, P.Eng., the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers Canada.”
Bill C243 is a good place to start. However, much more needs to be done to fully protect, support and encourage women’s participation in the workforce. Engineer Canada looks forward to continuing to engage with the government and likeminded stakeholders to better attract and retain diverse groups into the engineering profession to more closely reflect the demographics of Canadian society.