OTTAWA—This year’s ACEC Chair’s Award is unlike any other, as it’s the first time it’s been given to a committee as opposed to an individual.
The Technical Women In Consulting Engineering (TWICE) Committee was on the receiving end of the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies-Canada (ACEC) award, which recognizes exceptional contributions to the consulting engineering community.
The award was presented at the Chair’s Gala during the 2015 ACEC Leadership Summit in Niagara Falls, Ont. in June.
Accepting the award on behalf of the committee was founding Chair Kristen Poff, who was joined by the President of ACEC-Manitoba Alana Gauthier, a release reads.
"TWICE represents a call to action for individuals and organizations to actively lead change and foster an environment of diversity and inclusion," said Poff in a statement. "Several studies show that diversified workplaces have the competitive advantage. The best ideas and innovations come from seeking out different points of view, and diverse perspectives lead to different ways of thinking which creates new opportunities and solutions."
TWICE was formed in 2013 under the ACEC-Manitoba umbrella and was established to provide "strategic advice to the industry on increasing diversity in consulting engineering."
The committee guides the industry in the development of best practices for life-work balance and helps facilitate opportunities to encourage networking, mentoring, and professional development for women.
"Although some universities are now claiming to have 30 per cent women in their engineering program, it has been a struggle to maintain even 20 per cent women in the workplace at the early career level, or the senior level," said outgoing ACEC Chair Anne Poschmann. "Any profession which does not include nearly half of its population suffers in its creativity and creative potential."