WES 2019

WES’ mission is to create an engaging space to explore practical strategies toward inclusion and retention of females in the engineering profession. We strongly believe women engineers and geoscientists must be valued, respected and recognized for their contributions to the field, and ensuring they remain in the profession until retirement. All genders are welcomed to attend the summit, after all it is a team effort.
Photo: Leela Aheer (middle), Alberta Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and the Status of Women, attended WES 2019 and also our GES (Girls in Engineering Summit).



……………Working Professionals……………
……………PMINAC Members……………
……………Students & the Unemployed……………
……………Ticket Donation to a Student……………
……………Girls in Engineering Summit……………
Gils in Engineering Summit


By attending the Women in Engineering Summit in Edmonton or Calgary, you will join a growing network of individuals who support increased career satisfaction for women in engineering and geoscience, and who support the 30 by 30 Initiative by Engineers Canada. More to this, PMINAC members will get a 15% discount in the registration fee.
Women need more than a University degree to assure they have a fulfilling and sustainable career. Learn how we can support each other and discover practical solutions to increase the number of women working in the field.


Send your employees to the Women in Engineering Summit. Share your company’s goal to increase gender diversity and inclusion in engineering and geoscience.
Our introductory event last year attracted sponsors like TransCanada, CCWESTT 2018, Beckingham Environmental, and others. Plus media attention from Global TV News.
TELUS World of Science Edmonton is happy to host our Girls in Engineering Summit as well.
Sponsorship options: Summit Luncheon ($), Opening Breakfast ($), and Closing Cocktail ($). Other opportunities range from $ to $. Email us to reserve your option per city.


For Edmonton and for Calgary (Scroll below for the session titles)
Registration Begins………………………8:00 AM
Keynote & Opening Ceremonies…………………9:00 AM
Breakout Sessions: Explore ……….10:00 AM
Breakout Sessions: Connect ……….11:00 AM
Luncheon Begins…………………………………………12:00 Noon
Networking………………………………1:00 PM
Breakout Sessions: Grow…………………………….2:00 PM
Closing Ceremonies and VIP Cocktails……….5:00 PM
Expert Discussion Panel……….…3:00 PM


The Program titles for this year are finalized, join us or sponsor a student to learn:
“The Whole Package” –Speaker: Martha Vega-Smith, P.Eng, DTM, Pipeline Engineer and Diversity volunteer
Explore Session / Abstract: We are not uni-dimensional and long-gone are the days when one could just be only an engineer at work, and only a parent/care-giver at home. What was once considered a disability, being a whole package, and something people were to hide or hush about, companies are starting to see as an advantage because of the broader perspective that comes to the table. Most important, companies are starting to understand that when people bring their whole selves to work, and not being alienated, they feel safe and are likely to push harder and achieve more, hence helping companies make money. This session will inspire you to be resilient, outspoken and seek / accept challenges in life.
“How to Lean-In and Obtain a Promotion” – Speaker: Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, P.Eng, M.Eng., PMP; an elected APEGA Councillor since 2017 and a University Engineering Instructor
Grow Session / Abstract: Obtaining a promotion or a salary raise at work is one the greatest rewards hardworking engineers and geoscientists of any gender can receive. For women in the profession it is particularly important to learn how to lean-in and obtain these rewards, just as men do, as an incentive to stay motivated and inspired in their careers. This session will cover 3 negotiation strategies that women can utilize to obtain a promotion, a salary raise, or even win a better project assignment. The session will include an interactive portion where attendees can share their challenges and/or their solutions on how to earn these rewards at the office or in the field.
“Mentorship as a Means for Leadership Development: Applying the Growth Mindset” – Speaker: Dr. Qiao Sun, Senior Associate Dean of Diversity and Equity, Schulich School of Engineering , University of Calgary, and Professor for the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
It is well-known that mentorship is critical to one’s success- but why? In this workshop we will define mentorship, explore its benefits, and identify the characteristics of a good mentee. We will also introduce the theory of the growth mindset (Dueck) and connect it to the mentor/mentee relationship and reflect on how to apply the mentee mentality and growth mindset to our leadership development in school and in work.
“Intersectionality 101” – Speaker: Meghana Valupadas BSc, former Vice-Chair of the Women’s Advocacy Voice Committee of Edmonton, and Co-Creator of Diversity in Engineering
Connect Session / Abstract: Do the ways in which we identify affect how we are treated and how we treat others? What happens when those identities overlap or intersect? Intersectionality 101 will introduce and explore the intersections of identity and how they relate to diversity, inclusivity, equity, and privilege. Participants will learn definitions, explore their own identities, and will be given strategies to effectively identify unconscious bias and microaggressions, tips for building an inclusive environment that nurtures innovative ideas, and an appreciation for the power of collective wisdom and diverse experiences. This session is appropriate for people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. No previous knowledge is necessary to participate.
“Connecting the Dots” – Speaker: Martha Vega-Smith, P.Eng, DTM; Seasoned Career Coach, Pipeline Engineer and Diversity Volunteer
Connect Session / Abstract: Approximately 70% of job openings are not posted, but rather communicated and ultimately awarded through network. Think about it, if you are going through your career transition the regular way: searching and applying on line, you are not reaching a huge portion of that market. So, if that is the case, why aren’t we more driven to strike a conversation with an old friend working at a company we are interested in? or why we go to job fairs and leave thinking it was a waste of time? This session will de-mystify Networking, and help you make it part of your life, something that comes easy to you, and not something you do when you are pressured for a job or a job change. Participants will have the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned and leave with a renewed sense of empowerment towards connecting in a meaningful way with others.
“Indigeneering the STEAM Professions” – Speaker: Deanna Burgart, P.Eng., President of Indigenous Engineering and Award-Winning Indigeneer
Grow Session / Abstract: Industries are facing external pressures to innovate. Pressures driven by customers, sustainability goals, proliferation and evolution of technology. Further innovation challenges are human factors, change management and lack of team effectiveness. Empowered Innovation introduces audiences to a new way of seeing the problems they face. Empowered Innovation can demonstrate how Indigenous values and worldviews can be a catalyst and with this dynamic approach, challenges become launchpads for successful outcomes. “Indigeneering” the STEAM Professions: Empowered Innovation will cover Indigenous Identity and STEAM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math) pathways and overview of Indigenous engagement initiatives and strategies in the workplace.
“Allyship and Inclusion in the Business World” – Speaker to be Confirmed: Patrick Poelzer, Managing Leader Oil & Gas Edmonton, Stantec
Connect Session / Abstract: Stantec has a culture of inclusion and understands that a diverse team is a strong team because a strong team better serves our clients and communities. Diversity is expressed in different ways: age, gender, race, culture, sexual orientation, religion, belief, education, physical ability, personality, experiences, and approaches to work. Our mission is to improve the diversity of our workforce, equitably and inclusively across differences. This mission helps us meet the needs of our employees, clients, suppliers, shareholders, and communities; is supported throughout our organization; and is reflected in our value statements. A 2016 survey showed a 7.2% improvement in the number of employees who feel included at work compared to a 2015 survey.
“Applying for a Title of P.Eng or P.Geo” – Speaker to be Confirmed: APEGA, the regulator for the profession of engineering and geoscience in Alberta
Grow Session / Abstract: The success of the 30 by 30 Initiative is measured by the number of women that achieve their P.Eng or P.Geo designation. This session will cover the application process and tips for success. As part of its obligation to protect the public, APEGA has the legal right and requirement to restrict the practices of engineering and geosciences along with the related titles and designations, to licensed individuals. APEGA regulates the professions by ensuring that anyone we license meets certain technical, ethical, and professional standards. To protect the public, only permit holders and certain member categories have the right to use certain titles and designations. These are called reserved titles and reserved designations such as P.Eng and P.Geo.
“Expert Panel Speaking on the 30 by 30 Initiative: The Path to Industry Inclusion” – Panel Speakers: Tanya Doren (Stantec), Alissa Boyle & Mohamed El Daly (APEGA, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta), Jane Tink (Engineers Canada) and Qiao Sun (University of Calgary).
Engineers Canada is working to increase the representation of women within engineering through its 30 by 30 initiative. This initiative has a goal of raising the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30 per cent by the year 2030. Thirty per cent is universally held as the tipping point for sustainable change—reaching 30 by 30 will help drive the shift in the overall membership of the engineering profession as more and more women continue to enter the profession. 30 by 30 has received national support across all provinces and territories. They collaborate with engineering regulators and other stakeholders to facilitate a national vision on this issue. This panel will present the views of Academia, Industry and the Regulators on the success of 30 by 30.


WES 2018 was kindly sponsored by TransCanada Corporation, CCWEST (Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology) 2018, Telus World of Science Edmonton, Beckingham Environmental, APEGA (Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta), Rogowsky Engineering, Esker Consulting Ltd., Westpower Equipment Ltd., Thurber Engineering, Challenger Geomatics, EATON Electric, DIALOG, ERIEC (Edmonton Regional Immigrant Employment Council), Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton, Mark Lopez (Art Exhibition), and numerous amazing individuals who donated tickets to students.