In celebration of International Women in Engineering Day that was on June 23, we honour the contributions of women in engineering and acknowledge the need for greater gender diversity in the industry. Despite women enrolling in engineering programs in growing numbers, they continue to be significantly underrepresented in university programs and the workforce. We continue to celebrate the achievements of women engineers and encourage others to join the profession.
Diana, P. Eng, serves as a role model who is breaking barriers in engineering. Since 2019, she has been a manager in airside and infrastructure engineering with Airport Development and Technical Services (ADTS) at the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. Diana is a native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and is a civil engineer who completed her studies at the University of Waterloo.
Reflecting on her journey, Diana remembers her graduating class in 1996, where of 86 students, just six were women. She faced challenges when she entered the male-dominated manufacturing and construction industry, as some struggled to accept her.
“As a female engineer, you are always afraid to make a mistake and feel like you have to always prove yourself, but you have to get over that and be confident in the knowledge you have. You have gotten to where you are because of your competencies,” says Diana.
She says things are beginning to change for the better. “Diversity, inclusion and equity is for everybody … being judged by what you can and can’t do, not by any other factor.”
Diana says she loves the opportunity to give back and mentor young female engineers. “It’s a huge reason why I do what I do.” She is currently enjoying the post-COVID resumption of the engineering co-op program in her workplace.
Diana believes women are natural leaders, multitaskers and problem-solvers – in other words, made for engineering. So, it’s essential, she says, to encourage girls’ interests in STEM fields, rather than steering them away.
“Show girls you have opportunities, what cool work you can get into. Don’t be afraid to take that chance, to have the confidence and to believe you can achieve it.”