30 By 30 Report
APEGS not only has a 30 by 30 Task Group focused on increasing the number of newly licensed women in APEGS to 30 per cent by 2030, but the it also has a Women of APEGS Subcommittee (WOA) working with and reporting to the Equity and Diversity Committee.
his subcommittee includes women from multiple industries and stages of life. The directive of the WOA subcommittee is to:
• encourage enrollment of women in engineering and geoscience and foster career development and retention;
• identify barriers for women in the professions of engineering and geosciences; and
• foster an understanding among all APEGS members of the role of equity and diversity within the professions.
Society of Women in Engineering
This past fall, two members of the WOA subcommittee attended the Society of Women in Engineering (SWE) conference in Austin, Texas. SWE is a not-for-profit educational and service organization that empowers women to succeed and advance in the field of engineering and to be recognized for their life-changing contributions as engineers and leaders.
SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career for women through an exciting array of training and development programs, networking opportunities, scholarships and outreach and advocacy activities.
For more than six decades, SWE has given women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry. This organization is driven by a passion for its members' success and continues to evolve with the challenges and opportunities reflected in today's exciting engineering and technology specialities.
The Austin SWE Conference was the largest SWE conference to date with nearly 15,000 registrants from 26 countries, 515 volunteers and 326 companies in attendance at the career fair. The conference included panels, interactive sessions, lightning talks, workshops and networking opportunities. This year’s conference was titled ‘Always Connecting, Always Engineering’.
The conference focused on what North America is doing to attract and retain women into engineering and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and medicine) fields. The conference also examined what other worldwide networks are doing to promote women in engineering and STEM fields. Learning what’s working and what’s not working is important to help APEGS reach its 30 by 30 goal and to help the WOA subcommittee fulfill its mandate.
Next year’s conference, to be held October 18-20, 2018 in Minneapolis, is titled ‘Let’s Break Boundaries’.
Ideas and Takeaways
The APEGS WOA representatives presented what they had learned from the conference to Council and the appropriate committees. One of the biggest takeaways was the effectiveness of mentorship and sponsorship to help women succeed in the professions. Mentorship is important not just at the start of one’s career but throughout a person’s career stages.
The conference highlighted to the WOA subcommittee that not only does APEGS need to encourage young women to enter the professions, but it also needs to support them throughout their careers.
In 2018, the WOA subcommittee will be looking at:
• potential mentorship programs;
• continued fun, casual settings for members to relax, make connections and experience comradery;
• continued identification of the barriers that prevent women from entering the professions or continuing in their careers.
Inclusion Means Everyone
Another takeaway from the SWE conference came from male panels. Participants pointed out that men sometimes don’t feel they have a seat at the diversity table. Diversity and inclusion will require everyone. APEGS has already taken steps to recognize this. On the 30 by 30 Task Group, there is a mix of males and females from various committees within APEGS as well as community liaisons.