Five key takeaways: Celebrating Women in Engineering industry event – Faculty of Engineering

Five key takeaways: Celebrating Women in Engineering industry event

A person laughs at a women in engineering industry networking event.
Photo by Geoff Shaw

On the eve of Engineering Month and a week out from International Women’s Day, more than 120 students and 40 employer representatives gathered in CIBC Hall on February 29 for Celebrating Women in Engineering. 

Hosted by the Engineering Co-op and Career Services team, this annual event showcased wisdom from a panel of women engineers across various industries and provided an opportunity for networking.  

Panellists included:  

  • Laura Cortez Aristizabal, Customer Service Manager, Spare Parts Solutions, ATS Corporation 
  • Valentina Carrillo, Quality Manager, Magna 
  • Dresden Huston, Senior Director, Central Supply Chain, Pepsico 
  • Katy Kwong, Associate VP of Supply Chain Technology, SRE Operations, Canadian Tire Corporation 
  • Julie Wedzinga, Manager of Environment, Stelco 
A panel of women sit on stage at the women in engineering industry event.

Here are five takeaways from the event: 

1. Believe in your abilities unequivocally

As a woman in engineering, your competence transcends assumptions and biases. Focus on your education and experience as the pillars of your expertise. Trust in your capabilities to navigate challenges. 

Women network at a women in engineering industry event.

2. Scrutinize a company’s commitment to fostering equity, diversity and inclusion

Genuine commitment is required for meaningful transformation. You deserve to work in an environment that values and respects employees and where people can bring their authentic selves to work. 

3. Seek mentors who share your values and passions

Authentic connections with mentors foster growth and guidance. Look beyond departmental boundaries to find mentors who inspire you. Cultivate these relationships with care and appreciation. 

Someone smiles while networking at the women in engineering industry event.

4. Refrain from playing the blame game when confronted with challenges

Recognize that problems often stem from inadequate processes rather than individual shortcomings. Redirect your focus towards addressing the root cause of issues, fostering a culture of problem-solving and collaboration devoid of blame. 

5. You have a voice

Choose to speak up rather than silencing yourself in the face of negativity by asserting your presence and contributing to positive change. This is particularly important for women who are working in male-dominated workplaces. 

A person smiles while networking at a women in engineering industry event.

Photos by Geoff Shaw.