WES 2018

Our 1st ever WES, Women in Engineering Summit
Women in Engineering Summit


Save the Date! Increase Retention of Women Engineers in the Field
A group of women engineer professionals in Edmonton will host the premier Women in Engineering Summit at the Telus World of Science, on Friday, September 14, 2018. Our mission: to create an engaging space to discuss issues and explore practical solutions that support inclusion and retention of females in the profession. We strongly believe women engineers must be valued, respected and recognized for their contributions to the field, ensuring women remain in the profession. Men, women and young people are welcomed. Register today!


……..Educators & Related Professionals……..
……..Recent Graduates, Students & Unemployed……..
……..Kids 12-17 years old with Registered Parents……..
……..Politicians and Journalists (Policy and Opinion Makers) ……..


Diverse Solutions ● ● Value-added Insights for Women in Engineering ● Networking & Support
Attend the first-ever Women in Engineering Summit (WES) in Edmonton, you will join a growing network of wise women in Engineering and Geoscience in Alberta, Canada. We need more than a University degree to ensure we have a fulfilling and sustainable career. Learn how we can support each other, discover practical solutions to increase the number of female engineers working in the field. Bring your children over 12 years of age as well. Contact us: Email.


Invest in Workforce Diversity in Engineering
Sending your high potential employees and top leaders to the inaugural Women in Engineering Summit sends the message that your firm values gender diversity and inclusion in engineering and geoscience. This event will attract media attention with the keynote by Ilya Espino de Marotta, VP of Engineering, Panama Canal Authority. Contact us: Email.



7:30AM – 8:30AM


8:30AM – 9:00AM

“KEYNOTE SESSION: Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive VP Engineering and Program Management for the Panama Canal Authority”
Ilya Espino de Marotta led the Panama Canal Expansion Project as Executive Vice-president of Engineering for the Panama Canal Authority. Marotta was appointed to the role in 2012 and was the first woman in the history of the Panama Canal Authority to hold the role. Marotta said that some male colleagues questioned her appointment and is quoted as saying, “I wear the pink hard-hat to make a statement that a woman can do this job.” Marotta describes the Panama Canal Expansion project as “a dream job for any engineer”. Ilya has been in Canada only once before, visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is pleased to visit Edmonton, Alberta for the first time to share her message of hope for equitable engineering careers for men and women.

9:00AM – 9:45AM

IMAX Film: Dream Big: Engineering Our World
Telus World of Science is pleased to kick-off WES 2018 with a complimentary showing of the IMAX movie Dream Big: Engineering Our World. Our registered WES 2018 attendees are welcome to bring any children in their family to the movie for free. Dream Big reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. This is a MacGillivray Freeman film in partnership with American Society of Civil Engineers, presented by Bechtel Corporation.

10:00AM – 11:15AM

Employment Strategies that get RESULTS
Career progression for most women is not a linear path. Most women likely have maternity leave gaps, part-time work, orother breaks in their work record. How can I customize my resume if I have gaps? How could a customized cover letter, networking, or new job search tactics increase my chances for an interview? How do I side-step inappropriate interview question? Gaining job application know-how and learning how to strategically market your value to employers, will help you land a great position. Leave with a Job Seekers Guide that has helped many professional engineers secure employment over the past year
Speaker: Karen Carleton, M.Ed., M.Sc.

11:15AM – 12:15PM

How to Support your Tribe: Awareness and Behavioral Change
Human beings are psychologically wired to be drawn to like-minded individuals to form a group. These ‘tribal connections’ provide belonging, understanding, support for common goals, and a clear common purpose. This session explores how cooperative and collaborative behavior can help to eliminate feelings of isolation that drives many female engineers to change career paths or remove themselves from the engineering world. We will discover strategies that raise awareness and promote strength in numbers from female and male colleagues like, in the workplace and from the community.
Speaker: Susan Urra, P.Eng, PMP, MBA

12:15PM – 1:10PM

Fireside Chat: How to Ask for a Promotion
One of the key motivators for women to stay in the engineering profession is the ability to win salary raises and promotions at work. Research shows that while men are good at negotiating raises and promotions for themselves, women tend to be better negotiators when they are advocating for someone else. Typically raises and promotions are only obtained by employees negotiating with their employers directly, and most often upon being hired. This fireside chat will capture creative ways to successfully request a promotion or a raise.
Moderator: Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, P.Eng, M.Eng., PMP, ACG

1:10 PM – 2:25 PM

Targets for Women in Engineering – Employment Equity Policies
The number of women choosing engineering careers is on the rise. This sounds great, doesn’t it? It would be better if more women stayed in the profession pipeline and made it a long-term career. Unfortunately, the ‘leaky pipeline’ is a reality. What support would be needed to encourage more women to remain motivated and vested in an engineering path? Permit holding companies should be asking themselves this important business question. This session explores the concept of ‘hiring quotas’ vs. ‘diversity targets and reviews the pros and cons of implementing targets (whether voluntary or mandatory), by looking at case studies.
Speaker: Martha Vega-Smith, P.Eng, DTM

2:25 PM – 2:40 PMJoin our guest yoga instructor in relaxation techniques. Meet behind the Telus World of Science.


2:40 PM – 3:55 PM

Inter-Gender Communication for Professional Men and Women
Today’s workplace is the melting pot where at least two genders, four generations and a dozen cultures melt together to creatively enable performance and professionalism. This session will employ academia research, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP™), and a wealth of experience to bring you a practical guide on how to become a better communicator. This session is particularly crafted for both professionals who function in technical design, construction, sales and customer service environments, and want to enhance their rapport-building skills.
Speaker: Diana Ionescu, P.Eng., NLPC

3:55 PM – 4:30 PM

Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 Initiative: The Tipping Point We Need
Engineers Canada is the national organization of the provincial and territorial associations, such as APEGA in Alberta, that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada. Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 initiative has a goal of raising the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women, to 30 percent by the year 2030. Our panel discussion will explore how we can achieve this sustainable tipping point, increasing the engineers from the current 17% to 30%, by finding existing women graduates and helping them return to the profession.
Panelists: 4 guests.

4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Closing Ceremony and Celebration of our Summit’s Goals
Come meet our VIP guests from industry and academia while mingling with your fellow Summit participants, just outside the IMAX theatre. There will be door prizes and lights snacks. Remember to sign the Women in Engineering Summit 2018 Declaration, supporting the 30 by 30 Initiative (Engineers Canada).
Keynote: Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive VP, Engineering & Management, Panama Canal Authority
With a degree in Marine Engineering, Marotta has worked for the Panama Canal Commission/ Panama Canal Authority for more than 30 years. She has held diverse roles within the industrial, dredging, mechanical engineering and accounting areas. In 2012 Marotta was appointed as the first Executive Vice President of Engineering for the Panama Canal Authority. She is the recipient of a multitude of accolades including: Outstanding Woman of the Year (2014) by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives, the Women Who Make a Difference (2016) by the International Women’s Forum, and was named on the list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Central America by Forbes Magazine of Mexico
Speaker: Karen Carleton, M.Ed., M.Sc.
With over 20 years in work-related education and training, Karen has offered employment workshops and 1:1 coaching for various job seekers. Her ‘DIY Career Resources’ are still in use by an Engineering Faculty at a US university. A workforce development expert working in Human Resources, she has firsthand knowledge of what works for job applicants. In her spare time, she coaches internationally-educated professionals in job search, resumes/cover letter writing, and interview skills. Karen’s systematic and client-centered approach yields results for job seekers.
Speaker: Susan Urra, P.Eng, PMP, MBA
Susan Urra graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering from Chile, worked as engineer at ATCO Gas, and as Supervisor at Enbridge Pipelines. Currently, she is a Supervisor at the City of Edmonton. Susan has led teams accountable for monitoring and reporting cost and schedule performance for a portfolio of projects from $30M to $700M. Susan has taught project management for both NAIT and MacEwan University.
Moderator: Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, P.Eng, M.Eng., PMP, ACG
Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, Founder of CGV Speaking, is a professional engineer who spent 15 years in pipeline design and construction. Now she is a speaker and corporate trainer specializing in Project Management, Construction Engineering and Gender Inclusion in STEM, delivering positive and practical professional development workshops and keynotes. She is a member of Council for APEGA, Association or Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.
Speaker: Martha Vega-Smith, P.Eng., DTM
Martha Vega-Smith is an inspiring professional with 25 years combined leadership, communication and business performance improvement experience, who is able to deliver on business goals, while fostering staff growth and engagement in Multinational Environments. She worked for 9 years as a Project Engineer in Venezuela, and in the past 15 years as a Pipelines / Integrity Leader for two major Oil and Gas companies in Canada. She is a registered professional engineer and is looking forward to welcoming more women and men into engineering.
Speaker: Diana Ionescu, P.Eng., NLPC
Diana, founder of Gateway Latitude Consulting, is a professional engineer with a progressive career established in consulting engineering, as well as owner and supplier environments across industries including Infrastructure, Mining, and Oil & Gas. The market demand for continuous improvement came as an extension of her consulting practice and, as a result, she created a new division: EDUCOLIS, offering multiple professional development courses.

TELUS World of Science – Edmonton
11211 142 Street NW
Edmonton, AB T5M 4A1