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Associated sponsors and presents at CCWESTT 2024 Conference

The Canadian Coalition of Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (CCWESTT) 2024 Conference begins today in Victoria and we're excited to be a supporting sponsor of this year's event focused on the theme of overcoming systemic barriers and achieving gender equity in science, engineering, trades, and technology.

Contributing to the conversation on Saturday will be Lianna Mah and Jonathan Musser, as they share the efforts we're undertaking to support and retain our women professionals across our organization.

For 10 years, Associated Engineering has made a commitment to improving the retention of women engineers, technologists, and scientists across the company. Historically, retention of women professionals was as much as 6 percentage points lower than men in the same roles. This presentation will discuss the findings from ‘stay interviews’ completed with longer term staff and the subsequent initiatives established. These include flexible working arrangements and mentoring programs, which have helped improve retention, leading to increased representation of women in technical leadership and managerial roles across the company. We are now looking to better understand and address the challenges women professionals face in a hybrid work environment. Improving retention is particularly relevant today, in a job market in which recruiting talent and maintaining a stable workforce are challenging. By engaging more women in engineering and science, we can better represent and meet the needs of the communities we serve. 

Key points:

  • The reasons why employees join and/or leave a company are not always the same as why they stay. Understanding why women professionals choose to stay in an industry dominated by men is key to improving retention and ‘playing the long game’.
  • Through ‘stay interviews’ conducted with longer tenured women employees, Associated identified the top reasons they have stayed with the company for 10 years or longer. Initiatives such as mentoring circles, flexible working arrangements, and parental leave supports not only benefit employees, but also provide broader benefits for companies through improved long-term retention.
  • Retaining women through junior and intermediate levels is essential to ensure the ‘pipeline’ of women into senior technical and leadership roles. This is conducive to some of the proven benefits of gender diversity in the workplace, including improved creativity, innovation, collaboration, decision-making, employee satisfaction, and corporate financial performance.

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