women in engineering
According to Engineers Canada, women represent over 50 per cent of Canada’s population but are significantly underrepresented in engineering education and the engineering profession.
In recent decades, the number of women enrolled in post-secondary engineering programs has risen, as has the number of women in the engineering field, which has given more women the opportunities to represent themselves and highlight their ingenuity, dedication, and outstanding contributions.  Every year on June 23rd, individuals and organizations around the world celebrate International Women in Engineering Day, providing another opportunity to shine the spotlight on the achievements of women in engineering, celebrate their successes, and inspire future generations of women.

Women recognized for their contributions to the engineering field

WAN Female Frontier Awards have chosen the Vancouver project Housing for women, by women as a Highly Commended entry in the Team of the Year category. The housing project is developed, designed, and delivered by an entirely female team.

“Every aspect of this project has been incredibly rewarding. The purpose of the project in and of itself does so much to empower and support women,” shares RJC Engineers Principal Meredith Anderson, who is leading the structural design. “Working with the all-female design team has been refreshing, with an especially collaborative atmosphere.”

With a team of highly qualified women across all disciplines, this case study demonstrates their outstanding leadership. The team brings a unique perspective to design and development, delivering a project tailored to the users’ needs, the client’s (Soroptimist International of Vancouver) vision while inspiring female leadership in a primarily male dominated industry. Through its unique and innovative vision for women’s housing, the team was able to overcome the challenges faced by the site’s constraints and obtained unanimous City Council approval.

Individuals paving the way for women in engineering

Every year, CSA Group recognizes individuals that have made outstanding contributions to the world of standards in engineering. RJC Engineers' Kelsey Van Steele was bestowed the organization’s 2022 Young Professional Award at their Virtual Conference & Committee Week. This award recognizes a young professional that has made outstanding contributions in the development and advancement of voluntary standards. Kelsey demonstrated excellent leadership when she stepped forward to lead the largest Working Group on CSA Z1009, and her management skills were instrumental in keeping the group moving forward on the development of this new standard.

“This award is received with sincere gratitude. My involvement with standards development is something I take a lot of pride in, so to be recognized for my contribution is an honour. It is both a humbling and rewarding experience, and I continue to learn from the wealth of knowledge and experience at the table with each meeting” shares Kelsey. “I am grateful for the support of RJC Engineers as well as the encouragement of my committee colleagues.”

Although a relatively new member, Kelsey never shied away from active input and leadership in her work on CSA committees. She played a key role in finalizing complex solutions, helped resolve consensus sticking points, and proactively handled potential conflicts between existing standards in the CSA Group Occupational Health and Safety portfolio. Kelsey’s active engagement, dedication, and leadership have clearly demonstrated how worthy she is of this recognition.