GHD women connect with industry peers ahead of Women in Engineering Day

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GHD women in North America recently participated in an international conference that supports the career progression and retention of women in Science, Engineering, Trades, And Technology (SETT).

Held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the Atlantic ConnecTions (ACT) bi-annual conference was hosted by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Atlantic Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE Atlantic Fredericton).

GHD was a Gold sponsor of this year's conference, which hosted over 100 women from a cross-section of industries, educational institutions, governments, and not-for-profit organizations. Conference delegates had an opportunity to participate in pre-conference career-oriented workshops, share their experiences of studying and working in male-dominated fields, network with others, and develop action items with the goal of advancing women in SETT.

Christine Plourde, from the Fredericton office, led the organizing committee for the Women in Engineering Stream sessions. She has been working with WISE Atlantic; Engineers and Geoscientists New Brunswick; Engineers Canada; and the Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades, and Technology (CCWESTT) to increase the representation of women in engineering since 2006.

Commenting on the evolution of these conferences, Christine said, "I have seen the progression from a focus on sharing and defining the challenges faced by women in SETT, to the more recent focus on promising practices and concrete action plans to move toward more diverse and inclusive workplaces. The opportunity to connect and learn from other women in SETT during these conferences is always inspirational.”

Diane Lundquist travelled from Emeryville, CA, across the continent to give a speech entitled “Diversity and Inclusion at GHD – A Journey on Two Continents” and also participated in the panel discussion “Unconscious Bias – A Barrier to Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace.”

Diane noted, “GHD’s goal is to become the employer of choice to attract and retain the best and brightest women and men in the workforce. As we step up our diversity and inclusion efforts in North America through the launch of Women in GHD and unconscious bias training, events such as the ACT Conference are great opportunities to learn and to promote GHD to these talented professional women.”

GHD had women from its Fredericton, New Brunswick; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Emeryville, California offices participating, including Leslie Williams, Kayla Wallace, Donna MacDonald, Dawn Negus, and Brittany Booth.

Pictured from left to right are Donna MacDonald, Leslie Williams, Kayla Wallace, Brittany Booth, Diane Lundquist, Christine Plourde, and Dawn Negus.

ACT Women in Engineering Panel Session on Unconscious Bias. Pictured from left to right are Moderator Natalie Cormier, EIT (Universite de Moncton); and panelists Diane Lundquist, P.E. (GHD); Katy Warren (Memorial University electrical engineering graduate and Canada’s Smartest Person winner); Randy Newman (Psychology professor, Acadia University); and Denise Pothier, P.Eng. (Stantec).

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