ACEC-NB report highlights need for more gender diversity in consulting engineering
October 19, 2020
In recognition of October as Global Diversity Awareness Month, the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of New Brunswick (ACEC-NB) released new research today highlighting the continued need to attract more women to—and retain those already working within—the consulting engineering sector.
Volunteer members of ACEC-NB’s diversity and inclusion committee—including Lindsay Wilcott and Brennan Thorne of CBCL, Jeff Earle, Lauren Caldwell, Erin Smith and Mark Guest of Dillon Consulting and Jaclyn Currie of Stantec—developed the report, titled ‘Women in Consulting Engineering in New Brunswick: Career Satisfaction & Workplace Experiences,’ based on research and studies conducted throughout 2019.
The following are some of its findings:
- Men currently outnumber women in the field by 4:1.
- Only 35% of companies surveyed track labour statistics. Even fewer (17%) track the number of women promoted.
- None of the employers surveyed tracks the number of women interviewed as part of the hiring process.
- Mentorship is a key influencer to a positive work culture for women, with 86% of respondents indicating it supports their professional growth and they would like to see more of it.
The report suggests employers need to offer more flexible working arrangements, implement more effective on-boarding strategies for employees returning to work after parental leave and develop clearer career tracks for recruitment, retention and advancement opportunities.
“Being inclusive means bringing more voices to the boardroom or the work site,” says Christy Cunningham, ACEC-NB’s executive director. “Our member organizations are at risk of losing significant investment if trends continue and highly skilled female employees choose other engineering career paths or to leave the consulting profession altogether.”
Besides aforementioned parties, the report was also sponsored by New Brunswick’s provincial government, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB).
“The insights presented in this report will provide excellent first steps for organizations to increase their awareness of obstacles and create solutions moving forward,” says APEGNB president Marlo Rose.
To view the full report, including ACEC-NB’s recommendations to its member companies, click here.