APEGA's 30 by 30 Initiative
In 2010, APEGA set the goal of having women compose 30 per cent of professional members in engineering and geoscience by 2030. In 2011, Engineers Canada adopted this goal, modified slightly to having women compose 30 per cent of newly licensed members by 2030.
During those same years, the Women in APEGA Working Group authored Managing Transitions, a guide for women going on maternity leave or anyone going on parental leave. The guide outlines the steps and planning required for the employee going on leave and their supervisor, and provides best practices and checklists for making the smoothest transition possible. Engineers Canada has since taken ownership of the guide and maintains it for national distribution.
In 2017, the Women in APEGA Working Group transitioned to an advisory group and focused on making recommendations to APEGA’s Registrar and CEO on strategic measures related to 30 by 30 and women in the professions. The newly structured group proceeded to work on APEGA’s diversity statement: Encourage a business culture of belonging, inclusion, and diversity for equity within the engineering and geoscience professions. It also advised on the development of APEGA’s 30 by 30 strategic plan, which was endorsed by Council in June 2019.
In support of the 30 by 30 goal, APEGA applied for and received a $350,000 grant from the federal government’s Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) department to investigate the barriers women face in the engineering and geoscience professions. The ultimate deliverable of the grant will be the development of workplace culture guidelines for APEGA’s permit-holding companies to increase the equity and diversity in their hiring, promotion, and retention policies.
The Women in APEGA Advisory Group is now working on strategic, tactical plans for each of the sections identified in the 30 by 30 strategic plan (K-12, university, post-university, career, post-career). Operational plans are being created for each section, including a listing of all organizations involved in each space.
Where We Are Now
The Women in APEGA Advisory Group is collecting relevant numbers and data for all stages of the pipeline, including receiving Alberta Education graduation data through a FOIP request, collaborating with our post-secondary colleagues to assess the number of women in their relevant programs, and of course, examining APEGA’s membership data.
Part of the WAGE grant analysis includes evaluating APEGA Salary Survey data from 2014–2018 to examine pay inequality between men and women in the professions, in addition to the data that the survey provides on an annual basis