Canadian Consulting Engineer

Virtual Event
ADVANCE: Women in Engineering 2024
June 20, 2024 at 11:30am ET

1:45 pm – 2:30 pm
Panel Discussion #2: Achieving Parity in Governance

Moderator: Jeanette Southwood

Panelists: Caroline Codsi, Allyson Desgroseilliers, Karen Freund

While there are well-known targets for licensing more women engineers, such as ’30 by 30,’ another important goal is to increase the number of women in the profession’s positions of leadership. Closing the gender gap at the governance level is important not only for providing a path to success that breaks through the ‘glass ceiling,’ but also in ensuring Canadian consulting engineering firms have succession plans in place.

Jeanette Southwood
Jeanette Southwood, P.Eng., is vice-president (VP) of corporate affairs and strategic partnerships for Engineers Canada, the national organization of 12 regulators that license more than 300,000 members of the profession. Her portfolios include public policy, communications, government relations (GR), public affairs, belonging and engagement. She previously led the Canadian urban development and infrastructure sector and global sustainable cities teams at Golder (now part of WSP) and was the first Black woman to be appointed to the senior leadership position of principal. She is a member of the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) board and TD Insurance’s Climate Change Advisory Board and a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, has been inducted into the University of Toronto’s (U of T’s) Engineering Hall of Distinction and was twice named one of WXN Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.

Caroline Codsi
Caroline Codsi is founder and chief equity officer for Women in Governance (WiG), which developed the first North American Parity Certification in 2017 to close the gender gap in the workplace. Today, close to one million employees work for Parity Certified organizations, including consulting engineering firms like AtkinsRéalis, CIMA+ and EXP.


Allyson Desgroseilliers
Allyson Desgroseilliers, P.Eng., is vice-president (VP) of environmental management and business support for WSP’s Earth and Environment (Prairies and North) team, based in Winnipeg. She is also chair of ACEC-Canada, only the second woman to hold the position. Allyson more than 25 years’ consulting experience, including more than 15 years in operational management roles with environmental, geotechnical, materials and infrastructure professionals.


Karen Freund
Karen Freund is Ontario’s regional executive vice-president (EVP) for CIMA+, which achieved Women in Governance’s bronze- and silver-level parity certification in 2023 and 2024, respectively, by demonstrating its commitment to women members of its board of directors and executive committee. Freund has more than 30 years’ experience in consulting engineering, including stints with IBI Group (now Arcadis), Delcan, HDR and Jacobs. From 2022 to 2023, she chaired the ACEC-Ontario board of directors.