Transcript: The Changing Face of Engineering | Oct 03, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "The changing face of engineering. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says THERE ARE TWO THINGS
ROUTINELY SAID ABOUT CAREERS IN
SCIENCE, MATH, ENGINEERING AND
TECHNOLOGY, THE SO-CALLED STEM
FIELDS: DEMAND FOR SKILLED
TALENT IS EVER-GROWING AND THERE
AREN'T ENOUGH WOMEN IN THOSE
SECTORS.
SO WE ARE PLEASED TONIGHT TO
WELCOME THREE GENERATIONS OF
WOMEN ENGINEERS, WHO KNOW A
THING OR TWO ABOUT MAKING THEIR
WAY IN A PROFESSION LONG
DOMINATED BY MEN.
THEY ARE ALL 2017 RECIPIENTS OF
ENGINEERS CANADA AWARDS.
AND SO WE WELCOME:
IN THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO:
VERONICA KNOTT, AN ENGINEERING
STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA, CURRENTLY
WORKING IN MARATHON, ONTARIO FOR
BARRICK GOLD.

Veronica is in her thirties, with long straight brown hair. She's wearing a gray blouse.

Steve continues AND HERE IN OUR STUDIO:
AMY BILTON, PROFESSOR OF
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRE
FOR GLOBAL ENGINEERING AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO...

Amy is in her thirties, with long brown hair in a ponytail. She's wearing a gray blazer over a burgundy shirt.

Steve continues AND MARY WELLS, PROFESSOR OF
ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
WATERLOO, CHAIR OF THE ONTARIO
NETWORK OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING,
AND AS OF NOVEMBER, SHE WILL
BECOME DEAN OF ENGINEERING AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH.

Mary is in her fifties, with shoulder-length blond hair. She's wearing a gray blouse and a matching pendant necklace.

Steve continues THAT'S A GREAT GIG FOR YOU.
CONGRATULATIONS ON THAT.

Mary says THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Steve says NICE TO WELCOME
EVERYBODY TO OUR PROGRAM
TONIGHT.
I WANT TO JUST START BY FINDING
OUT WHAT EACH OF YOU WON YOUR
ENGINEERS CANADA AWARD FOR.
VERONICA, START US OFF.
WHY DID YOU GET IT?

The caption changes to "Veronica Knott. University of British Columbia Engineering Student."

Veronica says IT WAS A GREAT AWARD TO WIN.
I WON THE ENGINEERS OF CANADA
GOLD MEDAL AWARD WHO WAS GIVEN
TO STUDENTS WHO GAVE BACK TO
THEIR COMMUNITY.
I WAS PRESIDENT OF THE
ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATE
SOCIETY AT UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH
COLUMBIA AND WE STARTED AS AN
AMAZING TEAM AND STARTED COOL
TRADITIONS SUCH AS THE IRON PIN
TRADITION AS WELL AS A FULL
INCLUSIVITY INITIATIVE.
THAT WAS A LARGE PART OF WHY I
WAS SO HONOURED TO RECEIVE THE
AWARD.

Steve says WHAT'S THE IRON PIN INITIATIVE?

Veronica says WE WANTED TO KIND OF
BOOKEND... WE HAVE IRON RING AT
THE END OF OUR DEGREE.
WE WANTED SOMETHING AT THE START
WHERE WE WELCOMED ALL OF OUR
FIRST YEARS TO OUR COMMUNITY BUT
TO REMIND THEM THAT THEY'RE
JOINING A PROFESSION, NOT JUST A
DEGREE, AND THAT THERE'S ETHICS
INVOLVED.
SO WE STARTED AN ETHICS CEREMONY
AT THE END OF THE FIRST
SEMESTER, FIRST YEAR.
WE HAD THE ENTIRE FIRST YEAR
CLASS.
IT'S THE ONLY TIME THEY'RE GOING
TO BE TOGETHER UNTIL THEIR...
THEIR GRADUATIONS ARE EVEN
SEPARATE.
WE BRING THEM TOGETHER AND THE
STUDENT LEADERS OF THAT YEAR
READ OUT A CODE OF ETHICS WE ASK
THEM TO FOLLOW, WHICH IS SIMILAR
TO OUR PROFESSIONAL CODE OF
ETHICS.
THEY ALL RECEIVE A PIN AT THE
END WITH THEIR STARTING YEAR.

Steve says GREAT.
AMY, WHAT DID YOU GET IT FOR?

The caption changes to "Amy Bilton. University of Toronto."

Amy says YEAH, I WAS
REALLY HONOURED TO RECEIVE THE
YOUNG ENGINEERS ACHIEVEMENT
AWARD.
IT'S FOR AN ENGINEER EARLY IN
THEIR CAREER, FOR THEIR
ACHIEVEMENTS TO THAT DATE.
THERE WERE PROBABLY A LOT OF
THINGS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THAT
AWARD, WHICH WAS MY WORK LOOKING
AT ENGINEERING IN GLOBAL
DEVELOPMENT.
I'M ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR AT CENTRE
FOR GLOBAL ENGINEERING AND MY
RESEARCH GROUP, WE WORK ON A
NUMBER OF INITIATIVES BEING ABLE
TO IMPROVE AGRICULTURAL
PRODUCTION IN THE DEVELOPING
WORLD AND IMPROVING DRINKING
WATER CONDITIONS AND WORKED ALSO
WITH THE UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
TO EXPOSE THEM TO THESE TYPES OF
CHALLENGES AND GET THEM TO
DESIGN IN THIS UNIQUE TYPE OF
ENGINEERING ENVIRONMENT.

Steve says GREAT.
MARY?

The caption changes to "Mary Wells. University of Waterloo."

Mary says I WAS VERY
HONOURED TO WIN THE AWARD FOR
THE SUPPORT OF WOMEN IN HAD
ENGINEERING IN THE PROFESSION,
AND I THINK SOME OF THE THINGS
THAT CONTRIBUTED TO IT, I FEEL
REALLY HUMBLED TO WIN THE AWARD
BECAUSE IT WAS REALLY THE WORK
OF HUNDREDS OF VOLUNTEERS, BOTH
ACROSS THE PROVINCE AND
NATIONALLY, THAT HELPED ME GET
THIS RECOGNITION.
PART OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE
OUTREACH ME DO TO YOUNG GIRLS TO
EVEN GET THEM TO START TO THINK
ABOUT WHAT THE ENGINEERING
PROFESSION IS AND WHAT A CAREER
AS AN ENGINEER WOULD BE LIKE,
BUT ALSO FOR SUPPORT OF WOMEN IN
THE UNDERGRADUATE YEARS AND ALSO
IN THE PROFESSION AS WELL.

Steve says I'M GOING TO FOLLOW
UP WITH YOU BECAUSE MY HUNCH IS
YOU WERE IN UNIVERSITY THE
EARLIEST AMONG OUR THREE GUESTS
HERE TODAY; CAN I PUT IT THAT
WAY?

Mary says THAT'S A VERY
DISCREET WAY TO PUT IT.
I APPRECIATE IT VERY MUCH.

Steve says IF YOU WANT TO GIVE
THE YEAR, YOU CAN.

Mary says I GRADUATED
FROM McGILL FROM 1987.

The caption changes to "Old school rituals."

Steve says '87.
WE ARE GOING BACK 30 YEARS NOW
AND I'M TRYING TO GET A BETTER
UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT MUST
HAVE BEEN LIKE FOR YOU AS ONE OF
HOW MANY WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AT
McGILL IN 1987?

Mary says I'M NOT EVEN
SURE.
IN THOSE DAYS WE DIDN'T REALLY
TALK ABOUT WOMEN IN ENGINEERING
AND I DIDN'T CONSIDER MYSELF A
WOMAN IN ENGINEERING.
I CONSIDERED MYSELF AN ENGINEER
WHO HAPPENED TO BE A WOMAN.
IT'S REALLY CHANGED IN THE PAST
30 YEARS.
I KNOW ACROSS THE COUNTRY AT
THAT TIME, WHEN I GRADUATED,
THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN 13 percent OF THE
ENGINEERING GRADUATES WOULD HAVE
BEEN WOMEN AND IN THE
PROFESSION, LICENSED ENGINEERS
WOULD HAVE BEEN ABOUT 3 percent.
SO THERE WAS REALLY NOT VERY
MANY WOMEN THAT WERE STUDYING
ENGINEERING AT ALL.

Steve says WHEN YOU LOOKED
AROUND YOUR CLASS, OBVIOUSLY YOU
DIDN'T SEE...

Mary says THERE WEREN'T
THAT MANY WOMEN, THAT'S RIGHT.

Steve says WAS IT AS... YOU
KNOW THE LEGENDARY STORIES.
IT WAS ABOUT AS SEXIST AS IT
CAME, GENERALLY SPEAKING.
WAS IT IN YOUR SITUATION AS WELL?

The caption changes to "Mary Wells. Ontario Network of Women in Engineering."

Mary says YEAH.
I THINK THAT IT WAS.
AND, AGAIN, I THINK WHEN YOU ARE
IN A SITUATION LIKE THAT, AND
DEFINITELY... SO IN QUEBEC, YOU
GO THROUGH... INSTEAD OF GOING
THROUGH UNIVERSITY, YOU GO
THROUGH TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE,
AND DEFINITELY TO GO INTO
ENGINEERING YOU NEED TO TAKE
HIGHER LEVEL MATH AND SCIENCES.
JUST EVEN IN THOSE CLASSES YOU
WERE ONE OF A FEW WOMEN STUDYING
THERE.
SO YOU KIND OF ADAPT TO THAT AND
YOU DON'T REALLY THINK ABOUT IT
ANYMORE.
DEFINITELY UNIVERSITIES THERE
WERE SOME ENGINEERING TRADITIONS
THAT BEING A NEW ENGINEER YOU
THOUGHT THESE ARE WHAT IT MEANS
TO BE AN ENGINEER AND SO YOU HAD
TO ADAPT, I GUESS.
I GUESS THAT'S WHAT I HAVE TO DO.

Steve says YOU DON'T HAVE TO
GET TOO GRAPHIC, BUT WHAT KIND
OF CRAP DID YOU HAVE TO PUT UP WITH?

Mary says AT McGILL
THERE WAS SOMETHING CALLED THE
JUNGLE FLICKS DURING ORIENTATION
WEEK, FRESHMAN WEEK, AND THIS
WAS A SERIES OF PORNOGRAPHY
FILMS THEY WERE SHOWING AND I
WENT AND DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO
EXPECT.
VERY QUICKLY EXITED IT.
WE HAD A MAGAZINE CALLED THE
PLUMBER'S POT AT THE TIME THAT
WAS FUNNY IN WAYS BUT VERY
SEXIST.
DEFINITELY THOSE TRADITIONS HAVE
CHANGED A LOT.
WHEN I LOOK BACK OVER THE 30
YEARS, LIKE TODAY, THE
ENGINEERING PROFESSION ITSELF
AND ALSO THE EXPERIENCE THE
UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS HAVE IS
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN THE
EXPERIENCE I HAD.

Steve says WELL, LET'S FOLLOW
UP ON THAT.
AMY, WHAT WAS THE GENDER BALANCE
LIKE WHEN YOU WERE IN
UNIVERSITY?

The caption changes to "Amy Bilton. Centre for Global Engineering."

Amy says YEAH.
SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT HAS
EVOLVED FROM WHEN MARY WAS IN
UNIVERSITY.
FOR ME IT WAS ABOUT 20 percent OF THE
CLASS WAS FEMALE.
IT CHANGED AND EVOLVED.
BUT WHAT I FOUND ALSO WAS, EVEN
WITHIN THAT 20 percent, IT WAS KIND OF
STRANGE.
AS THINGS GOT MORE TECHNICAL,
MORE MATHEMATICAL FOCUSED,
GENDER BALANCE TENDED TO SHIFT
EITHER, TENDED TO SHIFT TOWARDS
MALE STUDENTS THAN FEMALE
STUDENTS.

Steve says VERONICA, YOU'RE OF
COURSE STILL IN UNIVERSITY.
WHAT'S THE GENDER BALANCE LIKE
FOR YOU RIGHT NOW?

Veronica says I WOULD SAY WHEN I STARTED I
CAME FROM AN ALL GIRLS SCHOOL, I
FELT LIKE A MINORITY, EVEN IF WE
WERE AROUND 25 percent.
I THINK WE'RE CLOSER TO 30,
MAYBE ABOVE 30, AND IT'S A LOT
MORE PROMINENT.
YOU SEE A LOT MORE WOMEN IN THE
FIRST YEAR CLASS WHEN YOU LOOK
AROUND THE ROOM.
THAT'S REALLY STARTED TO CHANGE.
I MEAN, THE NUMBERS JUST AREN'T
THERE YET.
YOU'RE STILL DEFINITELY IN THE
MINORITY.
ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU GET HIGHER
UP INTO SPECIALTIES, LIKE MINING
OR MATERIALS, WE'RE LOWER IN
THOSE DEPARTMENTS.
DEFINITELY SOME DEPARTMENTS HAVE
FLOURISHED AND HAVE A LOT OF
FEMALES IN THEIR PROGRAMS.

Steve says AMY, HOW MUCH SEXISM
IS THERE STILL IN ENGINEERING SCHOOLS?

Amy says HOW MUCH SEXISM
IS THERE STILL?
THERE'S STILL SOME SEXISM.

Steve says HOW DOES IT MANIFEST ITSELF.

Amy says I THINK IT'S
MORE SUBTLE THINGS.
FOR ME I WAS A STUDENT BACK IN
THE EARLY 2000s AND IT WAS
MOSTLY SUBTLE THINGS.
YOU WERE IN MEETING MAYBE WITH
MALE STUDENTS.
YOU WOULD HAVE IDEAS ATTRIBUTED
TO THOSE MALE STUDENTS WHICH
ACTUALLY WERE YOUR TYPE OF
IDEAS.
IT TENDED TO BE MORE SUBTLE
THINGS THAN PROMINENT THINGS
LIKE JUNGLE NIGHT MOVIES.

Steve says I CAN REMEMBER
ALMOST 40 YEARS AGO GOING TO THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO AND THE
ENGINEERING SCHOOL THERE USED TO
PUBLISH A NEWSPAPER.
IF YOU READ THAT STUFF TODAY, IT
WAS MISOGYNIST STUFF FROM THE
GET-GO AND THERE WERE COMPLAINTS
ABOUT IT IN THE ONTARIO
LEGISLATURE.
I MEAN, WAS THAT ALL RINGING
TRUE BACK IN YOUR DAY TOO?

Mary says A LITTLE BIT.
I JUST WANT TO ECHO WHAT AMY HAD
TOUCHED ON.
I THINK TODAY THERE'S MUCH
GREATER AWARENESS AROUND THE
IDEAS OF EQUITY AND INCLUSION,
BUT THERE ARE STILL THESE
IMPLICIT ASSOCIATIONS, I WOULD
CALL THEM, THAT ARE PREVALENT
THROUGHOUT OUR ENTIRE SOCIETY
WHERE THEY ASSOCIATE A MAN BEING
AN ENGINEER AND BOTH MEN HAVE
THESE IMPLICIT ASSOCIATIONS BUT
WOMEN DO AS WELL.
AS AMY SAID, I THINK IT IS A
LITTLE BIT MORE SUBTLE NOW.
BUT, FOR EXAMPLE, IF... IN FIRST
YEAR IF A WOMAN GETS A CO-OP
JOB, RIGHT AWAY THE MAN WILL
SAY, OH, I GUESS YOU'RE THE
DIVERSITY HIRE.
HE CAN'T REALLY BELIEVE SHE MAY
BE EQUALLY CAPABLE TECHNICALLY
OR EVEN BETTER THAN HE MIGHT BE
BECAUSE OF THESE IMPLICIT
ASSOCIATIONS.

Steve says AMY, DO YOU FIND THAT?

Amy says I FIND THAT, YES.
IT'S SOMETHING THAT SURPRISES ME
TO THIS DAY.
I HAD THIS EXCELLENT MENTOR
DURING MY GRADUATE WORK AT
M.I.T. AND SHE TOLD ME EXACTLY
THE SAME THING, SOMEONE I LOOK
UP TO TO THIS DAY AND MODEL
MYSELF AFTER.
EVEN SHE SAID SOME PEOPLE TOLD
HER SHE WAS THERE BECAUSE OF THE
FACT SHE WAS A WOMAN.

Steve says VERONICA, YOU WORK
IN A MINE NOW, RIGHT?

Veronica says YEAH.

Steve says HOW MANY OTHER WOMEN
IN THE MINE WITH YOU?

The caption changes to "Veronica Knott, @vcaknott."

Veronica says SURPRISINGLY THERE'S A LOT.
BARRICK HAS BEEN DOING A BIG
PUSH ON THIS AND OUR GENERAL
MANAGER IS A WOMAN, MY CURRENT
BOSS, CHIEF METALLURGIST IS A
WOMAN.
AT BARRICK AT HEMLO I HAVEN'T
FELT IT AS MUCH.
IT'S ENABLED ME TO FLOURISH.
IT'S ALMOST NOT UNIQUE THAT I'M
AN ENGINEER AND A WOMAN.
I WILL AGREE WITH AMY AND MARY,
IF YOU'RE IN SCHOOL, IF YOU'RE
THE GIRL YOU'RE NORMALLY DOING
THE FORMATTING.
THAT'S ALWAYS THE BIG, YOU KNOW,
PUSH, AND YOU KIND OF HAVE TO
BREAKTHROUGH THAT AND REALLY ASK
FOR THAT TECHNICAL WORK
SOMETIMES IN GROUP PROJECTS.
I THINK IT'S STILL THERE BUT
IT'S UNCONSCIOUS AND UNCONSCIOUS
BOTH TO THE WOMEN AND MEN IN THE GROUP.
YOU DON'T EVEN REALIZE IT AND
YOU END UP IN THESE TYPE OF ROLES.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

Steve says MARY, I NEED TO ASK
YOU ABOUT ONE OF THE MOST
APPALLING ANNIVERSARIES IN
CANADIAN HISTORY, THE ECOLE
POLYTECHNIQUE WHEN 14 FEMALE
ENGINEERING STUDENTS WERE KILLED
IN QUEBEC AND I WONDER, WHAT DID
THAT DO TO YOU AND FOR YOU?

Mary says IT REALLY
TOUCHED ME PERSONALLY BECAUSE I
HAD GROWN UP IN MONTREAL AND
WENT TO McGILL AND IT WAS TWO
YEARS AFTER I GRADUATED SO THESE
WERE MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES.
AND IN FACT MY MOTHER, WHO WAS A
PROFESSOR AT McGILL, TAUGHT
ONE OF THE BROTHERS OF ONE OF
THE WOMEN THAT WAS MURDERED.
BUT IT REALLY... I GUESS, AGAIN,
AT THE TIME, WE DIDN'T HAVE MANY
PROGRAMS FOR WOMEN IN
ENGINEERING AND I THINK FOR ME
IT MADE ME THINK ABOUT FOR THE
FIRST TIME, I'M A WOMAN IN
ENGINEERING AND THIS PERSON
TARGETED THESE WOMEN BECAUSE
THEY WERE WOMEN IN ENGINEERING.
IT KIND OF GALVANIZED ME TO TRY
TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
AND I THINK FOR THE ENGINEERING
PROFESSION IN CANADA, AND NOT
EVEN JUST IN CANADA BUT AROUND
THE WORLD, IT ACTUALLY FOR THE
VERY FIRST TIME THEY PAUSED TO
THINK ABOUT WHAT IS THE
EXPERIENCE LIKE FOR WOMEN IN
ENGINEERING.
SO IT LED TO A LARGE REPORT
BEING DONE AND THE BEGINNINGS OF
WOMEN ENGINEERING COMMITTEES
AROUND THE COUNTRY AND OUTREACH
PROGRAMS AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
SO IT REALLY WAS A VERY, VERY
TRAGIC EVENT.
BUT OUT OF IT I THINK SOME VERY,
VERY IMPORTANT, POSITIVE STEPS
WERE TAKEN AROUND THE
ENGINEERING PROFESSION AND
EQUITY AND INCLUSIVITY.

Steve says WHAT DID YOU RESOLVE
TO DO YOURSELF?

Mary says I RESOLVED TO
GET MORE WOMEN INTO ENGINEERING.
FOR EVERY WOMAN THAT WAS
MURDERED, TO GET ANOTHER
THOUSAND IN.

Steve says HOW IS THAT GOING,
YOUR EFFORTS?

Mary says WELL, IT'S GOING VERY WELL.
THAT'S PART OF THE REASON THAT I
BECAME THE CHAIR OF THE ONTARIO
NETWORK OF WOMEN ENGINEERING,
AND THIS IS AN ORGANIZATION THAT
LINKS TOGETHER ALL THE SCHOOLS
AND FACULTIES IN APPLIED SCIENCE
AND ENGINEERING ACROSS THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO WITH A
COMMON MANDATE TO LOOK AT WOMEN
IN ENGINEERING TO GET MORE YOUNG
GIRLS GOING INTO ENGINEERING.
SO THIS ORGANIZATION HAS BEEN
AROUND FOR ABOUT 12 YEARS AND
OVER THAT TIME WE'VE BEEN ABLE
TO TRIPLE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN
THAT ARE APPLYING INTO
ENGINEERING SCHOOLS IN ONTARIO.
IT'S BEEN VERY, VERY SUCCESSFUL.

Steve says WOMEN, OF COURSE,
AMY, ARE THE MAJORITY IN
SOCIETY, A LITTLE MORE THAN MEN.
MAKES ONE WONDER WHETHER OR NOT
YOU THINK THE REPRESENTATION IN
ENGINEERING OUGHT TO BE, YOU
KNOW, 51-49, 52-48, THE WAY IT
IS IN SOCIETY?
DO YOU THINK THAT'S ACHIEVABLE?

The caption changes to "Busting stereotypes."

Amy says I THINK IT IS
ACHIEVABLE, BUT THINGS TAKE
TIME.
I THINK IT'S ONE OF THOSE
THINGS, WE'RE MOVING IN THE
RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT THERE'S
STILL THINGS THAT NEED TO BE
DONE.
AND FOR WOMEN REALLY... YOU
KNOW, IT NEEDS TO BE SOME PLACE
WHERE YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE, YOU
FEEL COMFORTABLE WORKING.
FOR ME PERSONALLY, YOU KNOW,
WORKING IN THIS TYPE OF
ENVIRONMENT, THERE ARE
CHALLENGES.
YOU KNOW, IF I WASN'T UP TO
COMING OVER THOSE CHALLENGES AND
BUSTING DOWN SOME GENDER
STEREOTYPES, I PROBABLY WOULDN'T
BE WHERE I AM TODAY.
BUT IT'S SOMETHING WHERE I THINK
WE HAVE TO BE VERY CONSCIOUS OF
AND THINK HOW WE CAN CONTINUE TO
MOVE IT IN THAT RIGHT DIRECTION.

Steve says VERONICA, YOU'VE
ALREADY TOLD US ABOUT HOW YOU
HAD TO PUSH BACK AGAINST GENDER
STEREOTYPING TO GET TO WHERE YOU
ARE RIGHT NOW.
IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHY DON'T
MORE YOUNG GIRLS GET ON THAT
PATH TOWARDS ENGINEERING?

Veronica says I THINK IT STARTS YOUNG.
I THINK IT STARTS WHEN THEY
DESELECT SCIENCE IN GRADE 10, OR
EVEN BEFORE THAT, RIGHT?
BUT WE'RE NOW GROWING UP WITH A
GENERATION THAT THEIR SUPER
HEROS ARE WONDER WOMAN AND THEIR
GOVERNOR GENERAL IS JULIE
PAYETTE WHO IS AN UNREAL FEMALE
ENGINEERING.
THE SUCCESSES WOMEN ARE HAVING
AND THE STRENGTH OF WOMEN AND I
HOPE THAT GETS WOMEN YOUNG
THINKING ABOUT A CAREER IN
ENGINEERING AND ALSO MAKING SURE
THEY DON'T DESELECT THE SCIENCE
AND MATH OPTIONS IN HIGH SCHOOL
BECAUSE THE NUMBER OF WOMEN I
TALK TO WHO SAID I DIDN'T GO
INTO ENGINEERING BECAUSE IN
GRADE 10 I TOOK SOMETHING ELSE
INSTEAD OF SCIENCE.
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE MAKING THOSE
DECISIONS SO EARLY AND I JUST
HOPE THAT MORE WOMEN AT LEAST
STAY AND GO THROUGH THAT FULL
PROCESS IN HIGH SCHOOL BECAUSE I
KNOW THAT BECAUSE I TOOK
SCIENCE, BECAUSE I TOOK PHYSICS,
I WASN'T SURE ABOUT ENGINEERING
LITERALLY UNTIL THAT LAST WEEK,
BUT I HAD TAKEN THE COURSES THAT
ALLOWED ME TO BE ABLE TO APPLY
AND GET INTO ENGINEERING WHEN I
FINALLY MADE THAT DECISION.

Steve says AMY, YOU KNOW
VERONICA JUST MENTIONED JULIE
PAYETTE, WHO IS OF COURSE A
SCIENTIST, ASTRONAUT, WHO IS NOW
GOVERNOR GENERAL OF THE COUNTRY.
AS YOU THINK FORWARD, THE
EXAMPLE THAT SHE WILL SET BEING
A SCIENTIST IN THAT ROLE, WHAT
DO YOU IMAGINE THAT MIGHT DO FOR
GETTING MORE WOMEN INTO
ENGINEERING?

Amy says YEAH.
SO I THINK JULIE PAYETTE BEING
GOVERNOR GENERAL AND BEING A
SCIENTIST, THAT'S A GREAT
EXAMPLE FOR YOUNG WOMEN AND
HOPEFULLY THEY CAN SEE WHAT
THEIR POSSIBILITIES COULD BE
GOING INTO THAT FIELD OF
ENGINEERING.
I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS
THAT MAJORLY HOLDS BACK YOUNG
GIRLS FROM THINKING ABOUT
ENGINEERING AS A PROFESSION.
THEY DON'T SEE SOMEONE WHO IS A
ROLE MODEL WHO THEY CAN LOOK UP
TO WHO THEY MAYBE CAN BECOME ONE
DAY, SOMETHING WHICH CAN BE A
GREAT LIMITATION.

Steve says MARY, I'VE GOT TO
PUT THIS TO YOU.
WE REMEMBER THE HARVARD
PRESIDENT SAYING WOMEN MAY NOT
HAVE THE SAME APTITUDE AS MEN TO
DO INTRICATE MATHEMATICS.
JAMES DEMORE RECENTLY FIRED FROM
GOOGLE ARGUING THAT WOMEN ARE
SIMPLY LESS INTERESTED IN THE
TECH FIELD THAN MEN ARE AND THAT
PARTLY EXPLAINS THE BIG GENDER
GAP BETWEEN THE TWO IN THOSE
FIELDS.
I'VE GOT TO ASK IT: IS THERE
ANYTHING TO THOSE ARGUMENTS?

Mary says I COMPLETELY
DISAGREE WITH THOSE ARGUMENTS.
PART OF THE ISSUE WITH YOUNG
GIRLS IS EVEN... MANY WOMEN AND
MANY MEN AS WELL WANT TO DO WORK
THAT IS IMPACTFUL TO THE WORLD
AND WILL HELP THE WORLD IN SOME
WAY.
IT'S GETTING THOSE STORIES ABOUT
HOW ENGINEERING DOES HELP THE
WORLD IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS.
THOUGH I THINK OFTEN AS
ENGINEERS THEY TEND TO PORTRAY
THEIR WORK IN VERY TECHNICAL
MEANS AND THE STEREOTYPICAL
IMAGES, A CAR OR SOMETHING LIKE
THAT, AND THAT'S NOT WHAT GIRLS
ARE INTERESTED IN.
THEY WANT TO HELP THE
ENVIRONMENT.
THEY WANT TO CREATE CLEAN WATER
FOR THE WORLD.
AND THESE ARE ALL THE THINGS
ENGINEERS WILL DO.

Steve says IF IT'S PORTRAYED
THAT WAY, THAT'S THE WAY TO GET
YOUNG GIRLS INTERESTED?

Mary says THE NUMBER OF
WOMEN IN ENVIRONMENTAL
ENGINEERING, 50 percent.
THE NUMBER OF WOMEN IN
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, 12 percent.
BECAUSE THEY DON'T SEE THE
CONNECTION OF MECHANICAL
ENGINEERING TO SAVING THE WORLD.
THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF WAYS THAT
MECHANICAL ENGINEERS DO THAT.

Steve says WHAT'S 30-30?

The caption changes to "Creating new traditions."

Mary says THIS IS A VERY
BOLD INITIATIVE BY ENGINEERS
CANADA TO, BY THE YEAR 2030,
HAVE 30 percent OF THE NEWLY LICENSED
PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERS AS WOMEN,
AND SO THEY'VE REALLY GALVANIZED
THE ENTIRE COUNTRY AROUND THIS
INITIATIVE.
THE REGULATORS, THE PROVINCIAL
REGULATORS THAT REGULATE THE
PROFESSION ARE ON BOARD.
THEY'VE ALSO CONTACTED THE
UNIVERSITIES ABOUT BEING ON
BOARD.
IT'S THAT KIND OF COLLECTIVE
ACTION THAT WILL LEAD TO REAL
CHANGE IN ENGINEERING.

Steve says BEYOND ALL OF THE
THINGS WE'VE LISTED SO FAR,
VERONICA, I PRESUME PART OF THE
REASON THAT YOUNG GIRLS AND
EVENTUALLY WOMEN IN UNIVERSITY
ARE NOT CHOOSING ENGINEERING IS
THEY DON'T SEE IT AS A
PARTICULARLY AVAILABLE OR
FRIENDLY PATH FOR THEM TO TAKE.
SO IS THERE SOMETHING THE REST
OF US OUGHT TO BE DOING IN ORDER
TO CHANGE THAT ASPECT OF IT?

Veronica says I THINK IT'S JUST TALKING
ABOUT THE EXPERIENCES THAT WOMEN
HAVE HAD AND THE SUCCESSES THEY
HAVE HAD AND OPENING UP THAT
DIALOGUE ABOUT SUCCESS STORIES
BECAUSE WHENEVER I SEE
ENGINEERING IN THE NEWS, SO
OFTEN PEOPLE ARE LIKE, OH,
THERE'S NO FEMALE ENGINEERS.
AND THAT'S THE STORY.
I'M LIKE THAT SHOULDN'T BE THE
STORY.
WHAT SHOULD BE THE STORY IS
THESE WOMEN WHO ARE EXCELLING
AND SUCCEEDING AND CHANGING THE
WORLD BECAUSE THEY HAVE THESE
ENGINEERING DEGREES AS THEIR
BACKGROUND.
I THINK THE MORE YOU TALK ABOUT
THAT, THE MORE YOU HAVE THESE
AMAZING ROLE MODELS, THE MORE IT
WILL REALLY ENCOURAGE WOMEN TO
SEE THIS AS A FANTASTIC CAREER
AND SOMETHING THAT THEY WILL
HAVE A GREAT LIFE OUT OF.

Steve says AMY, HOW LONG HAVE
YOU BEEN AN ENGINEER NOW?

Amy says SO, ENGINEER.
I GUESS IT DEPENDS ON WHEN MY
START DATE WOULD BE.
I FINISHED MY UNDERGRADUATE IN
2004, SO 13 YEARS.

Steve says 13 YEARS.
YOU'VE PASSED THE REAL HUMP.
THEY SAY THAT IN THE SORT OF
5- TO 10-YEAR RANGE, THAT'S WHEN
WE LOSE A LOT OF FEMALE
ENGINEERS BECAUSE THEY REALIZE
THE REALITY OF IT AND THEY DON'T
LIKE THE REALITY OF IT.
YOU'RE OVER THE HUMP.
WHY DO YOU THINK?

Amy says WHY DO I THINK
I MADE IT OVER THE HUMP?

Steve says YEAH.

Amy says I THINK...
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
I THINK I HAD SOME EXCELLENT
FEMALE ROLE MODELS.
I ENDED UP GOING... I STARTED IN
INDUSTRY.
I GRADUATED.
I DID A MASTERS AND WENT OFF
INTO INDUSTRY FOR A COUPLE OF
YEARS AND I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE IT
WAS THE RIGHT SPOT FOR ME.
BUT I DECIDED I HAD SOME
EXCELLENT FEMALE ROLE MODELS WHO
WERE ACADEMICS.
I THOUGHT THAT MIGHT BE A MORE
PROMISING PATH WHERE I CAN MAKE
AN IMPACT AND THAT HELPED ME GO
BACK AND DO A Ph.D.
FOR ME REALLY WHAT PUSHED ME
PAST THAT HUMP WAS KIND OF
HAVING ASPIRATIONS, SEEING WHAT
COULD HAPPEN FOR ME, AND THEN
THAT KIND OF CHANGED MY PATH TO
MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Steve says VERONICA, IN OUR
LAST MINUTE HERE, HOW DO YOU
ENSURE THAT YOU MAKE IT OVER
THAT 5- TO 10-YEAR HUMP AND STAY
IN THIS BUSINESS?

Veronica says I THINK HAVING MENTORS AND
PEOPLE AROUND ME TO SUPPORT ME.
I HAVE FANTASTIC BOSSES.
I HAVE GREAT MENTORS IN AMY AND
MARY AND WATCHING THEM AND WHAT
THEY DO AND THE ADVICE THEY GIVE
ME, THAT'S GOING TO HOPEFULLY
HELP ME GET THROUGH IT.

Steve says LAST WORD TO YOU ON
THIS, MARY: HOW DO WE MAKE SURE
THOSE WOMEN WHO GET IN STAY IN?

Mary says WELL, I THINK
WE HAVE TO CHANGE OUR PROFESSION
AND I THINK THE ENGINEERS CANADA
30 BY 30 IS A GREAT START AND
THERE'S ANOTHER REALLY EXCITING
RESEARCH CONSORTIUM THAT'S
STARTING, A WORKING PARTNERSHIP
WITH SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AROUND
MIND SET ISSUES AT DIFFERENT
POINTS IN THE PIPELINE.
I THINK THIS WILL BE A REAL GAME
CHANGER FOR THE FUTURE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Liane Kotler, @LianeKotler."

Steve says TERRIFIC.
VERONICA KNOTT WORKING AT
BARRICK GOLD IN MARATHON,
ONTARIO.
WE THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FROM
THUNDER BAY.
AMY BILTON FROM U OF T, MARY
WELLS UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO AND
NETWORK OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING.
THANKS TO ALL OF YOU FOR JOINING
US ON TVO TONIGHT.

Watch: The Changing Face of Engineering