Meet APEGA President Lisa Doig: In Her Own Words
Previously, we brought you part one of our two-part Meet the President series designed to introduce the professional leading APEGA as our 103rd—and seventh female—president. In part two, we sit down with Lisa Doig, P.Eng., MBA, FEC, FGC (Hon.) to get to know the woman behind the presidency in her own words.
The first part of this series was published in July 2022.
What defines you?
I thrive on being able to make a difference. At the end of the day, I like to know that I helped someone and did something good, whether in my personal or professional life. That’s why I believe it’s important to put your hand up and lead or volunteer. I have spent years volunteering in my community and with APEGA. Everybody has to do their part to make the world a better place.
Professional engineers and geoscientists have the skills to make life better, whether it’s collaborating with doctors in the medical field on life-saving tools or with others on new products to make us more energy efficient. My practice and passion are working with companies to develop and commercialize clean technology. I love hearing about new ideas and learning new things.
How have the positions you’ve held throughout your career shaped you? How did they prepare you for your role as APEGA president?
have had the opportunity to work in many different industries. I firmly believe
many industries have techniques and ways of solving problems that can be
applied to others. A diverse perspective is important to problem solving.
The positions I’ve held have also given me the opportunity to connect with all kinds of professionals in many different roles. I have gained an appreciation of what they go through and what issues they may be facing, and I bring that knowledge with me to my role as APEGA president.
Why did you run for president?
Volunteering has always been important to me. I started volunteering with APEGA’s Central Alberta Branch right out of university, and I continued volunteering off and on as I progressed through my career. I now have the time and the experience necessary to do this position justice, and I’m eager to help APEGA progress.
What does it mean to you to be the seventh female president at APEGA?
It means forward progress, and it means I can be a role model for the daughters of friends and colleagues of mine. Engineering work is done as a team, and a team needs varied skills and perspective. I think we’re setting the younger folks up well to be mindful of gender balance in the workplace, but there’s still room for improvement. Hopefully this visibility helps. That being said, I tend not to think about myself as a female APEGA president. I am an APEGA president, just as every professional who filled the role before me.
What are your biggest goals for your term?
External to APEGA, I would like to increase the profile of the professions with the public. Professional engineers and geoscientists play a huge role in the province’s economic success and enhance the quality of life for Albertans, but we aren’t always front of mind when public decisions are made involving engineering or geoscience. The importance of science and facts in decision making has been very apparent these last few years. I want our experts to be included and consulted while policies are being developed and decisions are being made, rather than afterwards or not at all.
I also want to make sure our registrants continue to be recognized for their exceptional knowledge and skill. As modern fields—such as the clean energy sector—emerge and grow, and as our registrants find employment in these areas, APEGA must continue to maintain the same regulatory standards our professionals are known for meeting. We also need to be able to provide suitable professional development to support our members as they continue to learn in these new fields.
At APEGA, I want to do my part to make sure the organization is set for the future. My focus is to ensure Council understands and incorporates strategic risks in decision making—risks like preparing for the emergence of new engineering and geoscience fields and ensuring APEGA has the tools and ability to efficiently regulate them.
I’m also mindful of what I call the care and feeding of our volunteers. Our volunteers make APEGA’s work possible, and I am incredibly thankful for their ongoing dedication, enthusiasm, and leadership. I want to ensure APEGA remains a worthwhile investment of their time.
And last, I am helping APEGA prepare for the upcoming legislation set to replace the Engineering and Geoscience Professions Act. This new legislation will see 22 professional regulatory organizations—including APEGA—operate under a single act while maintaining their own bylaws.
What career advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I would give to my younger self would be to spend the first 10 years of my career in a technical role at a single company to build a good foundation of practice. Often, if you have communications or business skills, companies want to move you around to take advantage of those talents. That can be great, but it may also mean you will miss out on some of that foundational engineering practice.
What's the best career advice you've received?
I had a great boss once who used to say, “If you don’t tell me what you want, I can’t help you.” That has always resonated with me personally and professionally. If you need help or resources or a promotion, or if you’re having a tough time with someone at work, your supervisor or employer won’t know unless you tell them. You can’t expect them to read your mind and fix a problem you haven’t told them about. I have always thought that was great advice.
What are your thoughts as you take the head seat of APEGA Council?
We have a big opportunity ahead of us. We have learned so much during the past couple years, such as how to maximize the use of virtual tools to conduct day-to-day business and how to maintain—and even increase—efficiency and accessibility through all sorts of situations. Now, we can take what we’ve learned and apply it to our future. As the past years have shown us, we don’t always know what is going to happen next.
Read part one of the series: Meet the President: The Ballet of Business
Featured in this article
Lisa Doig, P.Eng., MBA, FEC,
APEGA Council President
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