TORONTO—The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) has been granted funding from Status of Women Canada to create a two-year Pilot Mentorship Program that’s designed to support women who are in the early stages of their engineering careers.
As a result, OSPE will develop and implement online and face-to-face mentorship initiatives in collaboration with key partners in the engineering community, explains a release from the society.
Women represent about 18 per cent of engineering graduates and just 13 percent of the engineering workforce, the release reads, and while some 400 women receive licenses each year in Ontario, they represent only 10 per cent of all Ontario license-holders.
A recent OSPE survey of more than 1,500 recent graduates of both Canadian and international engineering programs assessed current challenges in obtaining licensure and interest in mentoring supports. Two-thirds of female respondents agreed that mentoring increases retention of women in the engineering profession and improves career prospects.
The society’s Pilot Mentorship Program will focus on supporting both Canadian-trained and internationally-trained women engineers during the early years of their career, the release explains, pairing them with mentors who have obtained their P.Eng. and have at least five years’ experience in the profession.
Four key areas will be addressed: obtaining licensure, career planning, entrepreneurship, and enhancing professional networks. The pilot program will also expand OSPE’s Engineering Professional Success webinar series and add post-webinar mentoring teleconferences that foster further dialogue, the release states.