Did you know...
There is an alarmingly low average of newly registered female engineers in BC.
The average for newly registered female engineers in Canada is currently 17.4%, a rate that has not increased over the last three years. As of Dec 31, 2017, BC ranked as having the third lowest participation rate in the country with 15.2%, 2.2% below the national average of 17.4% for newly licenced female engineers.
There is a projected shortage of Engineers, Geoscientists, Technologists, and Technicians in BC.
The Labour Market Outlook: 2018 Edition states that “Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services has been a fast-growing industry and this trend will continue into the next decade". The BC Major Project Inventory lists construction projects in BC valued at $15 million or greater as requiring an expanding workforce of qualified engineers and applied science technologists and technicians including the LNG pipeline, Trans Mountain Pipeline, LRT (Skytrain) and other infrastructure projects across BC.
The Engineers, Geoscientists, Technologists, and Technicians Labour Market Information 2015 report outlines the critical skills shortages projected out to 2024, in 31 out of 45 technical occupations. The report found “looming market supply challenges with more than 31,000 job openings needing to be filled by 2024, and nearly 11,500 new jobs in 31 key occupations will be created”.
What's the solution?
It's simple. The gap between supply and demand in BC's workforce is a problem, and a key part of the solution is to increase the number of women and other under-represented groups in the applied science and engineering sector.
The Advancing Women in Engineering and Technology Project aims to increase the participation of women in the Engineering, Geoscience, Technology, and Technician occupations thorough the implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies to recruit, retain, and support career development for women in these professions. This will be accomplished through the creation of a provincial network of stakeholders to implement diversity and inclusion strategies leading to a system level cultural shift of increased female representation within the applied science and engineering sector.
Across the province, this initiative will organize groups that can deliver the program in a way that meets the unique conditions and needs of the following regions:
A broad range of engagement activities will be offered, including workshops, employer hosted lunch-and-learn sessions, webinars, virtual career fairs, networking and celebratory events, and development of other resources to support diversity and inclusive practices in the workplace.