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ACEC-NB report highlights need for more female engineers

DCN-JOC News Services
ACEC-NB report highlights need for more female engineers

FREDERICTON, N.B. — The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of New Brunswick (ACEC-NB) has released a report that makes the case for the need to attract more women to the consulting engineering sector and retain those who are currently working in the profession.

The report, Women in Consulting Engineering in New Brunswick: Career Satisfaction and Workplace Experiences, was developed by the ACEC-NB’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee based on research and surveys conducted throughout 2019, stated a recent release.

Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • Men currently outnumber women in the field by four to one.
  • Only 35 per cent of companies surveyed track labour statistics. Even fewer, 17 per cent, track the number of women promoted.
  • None of the employers surveyed track the number of women interviewed as part of the hiring process.
  • Mentorship is said to be a key influencer to a positive work culture for women, with 86 per cent of respondents indicating that it supports their professional growth and they would like to see more of it.

When asked if they are motivated to work in management or executive roles within their organization, 67 per cent of survey respondents said yes. However, over 30 per cent of early career starters were unsure of the path, pointing to a potential for employers to cultivate this talent by demonstrating clearer paths to advancement and investing in mentorship to prepare women for succession and the management ranks.

“Diversity is more than a word, it’s a mindset,” said Christy Cunningham, executive director of the ACEC-NB, in a statement. “Being inclusive means bringing more voices to the boardroom table or the worksite. In the end, it pays dividends, and not just financial.

“Member organizations in New Brunswick 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 all together. Recruitment costs go up, training and orientation costs go up, and productivity is lost, not to mention the loss of different viewpoints for competitiveness on sales, marketing and innovation.”

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