|Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology
||Centre canadien pour les femmes ingénieures, scientifiques, technologies et de métiers
The Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (WinSETT Centre) is an action-oriented, non-profit organization that aspires to recruit, retain and advance women in science, entineering, trades and technology. The WinSETT Centre was established in 2009 after regional consultations and three national forums with key stakeholders including women in SETT. Through collaboration and partnerships, the WinSETT Centre creates and fosters opportunities that encourage women to enter, stay and grow in SETT careers, with the goals of maximizing Canada's human resource potential, increasing innovation, and driving Canadian economic development. Our 2013-2018 Strategic Plan is available here.
The WinSETT Centre:
- Collects best practices for the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in SETT
- Delivers the Women in SETT Leadership Program to provide tools for success for women's leadership
- Runs selected Career Awareness activities for Aboriginal and immmigrant girls and women to increase those pools of talent
- Delivers services to employers to create more inclusive workplaces
- Builds on and adds value to the initiatives of CCWESTT member groups
- Gathers statistics and track trends
- Monitors the success of Centre programs
- Celebrates and raises the profile of women in SETT
The Centre has a Board of Directors of accomplished women leaders in SETT fields and will establish Advisory Panels for the Centre and for prgrams and activities.
More Workshops Delivered and Coming Up!
Negotiating for Success was the next Women in SETT Leadership module to be delivered in Edmonton in March 2013, first to WISER and then to 50 technical and managerial women at WorleyParsons / CoSyn.
Engagement was high and participants gained valuable role-playing experience in preparing for and then undertaking various negotiation scenarios. Guest presenters Connie Parenteau and Lianne Lefsrud, both experienced engineers, generously shared their experiences and advice.
Carolyn Emerson, Worley Project Manager Anjum Mullick, National Facilitator Susan Hollett and speaker Lianne Lefsrud
Effective Communications for Women in SETT is next in the queue for delivery, first to WISE NL senior students and professionals in late April in St. John's, and then in May to the Women of Worley and to APEGA members in Calgary and Edmonton.
Becoming Leaders Energizes Career Success
Two cities in Alberta, 125 highly engaged partcipants, eight generous guest presenters, and three supportive host organizations added up to five productive Becoming Leaders workshops in late Nov. 2012. WinSETT was pleased to partner with TAQA North, APEGA and WorleyParsons in providing our high quality professional development offering to early to mid career women in engineering, goescience, technology, and administrative and management roles. Audience members received information on gender factors that can influence career success and in an interactive format, they identified strengths, strategies and values that can address challenges to advance their leadership skills.
First stop was in Calgary at TAQA North with the organizational support of WinSETT Board member Joy Brown, and guest speakers resource sector consultant Greta Raymond and TAQA technical leader Victoria French.
Founding patron of the WinSETT Centre, APEGA then hosted events in Calgary and Edmonton with the partcipation of women from a variety of SETT organizations. Speakers Gail Thornton from U of Calgary, Suzanne Kresta from U of Alberta, Jane Tink from Ryder Scott and Jessica Vandenberghe from APEGA, spoke of their individual career pathways and key lessons learned along the way.
The road tour ended with two workshops hosted by WorleyParsons. Speakers Suzanne Kresta, Connie Parenteau of Telus, and Nola Pogany VP in WorleyParsons again engaged participants with their experiences and practical strategies for success. WorleyParsons is also partnering with WinSETT in provision of inclusivity and diversity workshops for their leadership teams, and with U of Alberta Business Professor Karen Hughes in evaluation of the progress of women in their organization.
Participants and hosts spoke highly of the events:
It was interesting to have my experiences in the workforce validated, both by other women, and with actual data.
I ran into one of the workshop participants and she said she was captivated...(Facilitators) Susan Hollett and Carolyn Emerson and the material kept her energized and motivated the whole day.
New Leadership Workshops Launched
The WinSETT Centre has just delivered three new workshop modules.
Negotiating for Success developed with the support of Suncor Energy Inc. on the east coast was piloted with WISE NL and then delivered to a professional audience of engineers and scientists from Suncor Energy and Husky Energy in St. John's NL. Participants learned about the collaborative negotiation model and practised effective negotiation strategies and techniques through self-assessment and guided role-play exercises.
In western Canada, the new leadership module Effective Communications for Women in SETT was launched in a pilot delivery to WISER at the University of Alberta. This workshop enables participants to discover and tailor their own communication style and strengths to more effectively convey their ideas and solutions, manage conflict, exchange information, and gain recognition.
Also in Alberta, as a component of a larger initiative, the Centre delivered the first of its Strategic Leadership for Diversity Innovation modules to a senior management team at WorleyParsons' Edmonton offices. This module and the Communications one were developed through the generous support of APEGA. We are pleased to announce a significant partnership with WorleyParsons to deliver the Women in SETT Leadership Program modules to technical staff and management over the next year and to undertake a short to medium term research and evaluation project on outcomes led by Dr. Karen Hughes and Lianne Lefsrud from the Alberta School of Business.
The Becoming Leaders module saw its 13th delivery in partnership with Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal, the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Atlantic Region) on May 30th at Mount St. Vincent in Halifax [right in photo]. The engaged audience were drawn from several academic institutions and industy organizations, and guest speakers were Teresa Hunkeler from the Chair's industry sponsor Eastlink [left in photo], and Gloria Montano from the Board of the Centre and Past President of the Society of Women Engineers.
WinSETT at the CCWESTT National Conference: Inspiring a SeaChange
The WinSETT Centre delivered three presentations at the CCWESTT Conference May 3-5, 2012:
The WinSETT Board of Directors met on May 2 and then joined ~250 colleagues from across the country in the Policy Forum hosted by the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers for Status of Women, and Conference itself.
WinSETT Board finishes their meeting.
NL Minster for Status of Women and former WISE Summer Student Hon. Charlene Johnson with Margaret-Armour
Roby Austin from St. Mary's University, Kim Andreas, WinSETT Board member and new CCWESTT President, and Mojgan Kavoosi from SCWIST share a conversation.
More Successful Workshops Across Canada
Deliveries of Module 1 of our Women in SETT Leadership Program have accelerated from coast-to-coast. Beginning in St. John's on Oct. 22, the Centre, supported with a contribution from Suncor Canada, brought the Becoming Leaders Workshop to WISE NL who hosted the event The audience spanned graduate students from science and engineering, undergraduates with co-op work experience, and young professionals.
The next four stops for facilitator Susan Hollett were in Richmond, Kelowna, Victoria and Vancouver BC, Oct. 24-27, led by the NSERC Chair (BC/Yukon) Elizabeth Croft and assisted by Jennifer Pelletier. The events were hosted by WorkSafeBC, Stantec, WorleyParsons and Teck Resources with participants from a variety of companies, agencies and universities.
Then it was to the nation's capital for the sixth workshop on Nov. 7 hosted and supported by Engineers Canada. Nineteen women from industry, municipal government, academia and Engineers Canada were welcomed by CEO Chantal Guay. Featured guest speakers were the new and former Ontario NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering, Catherne Mavriplis from the University of Ottawa, and Valerie Davidson from the University of Guelph. WinSETT Center Board President Margaret-Ann Armour also presented.
Feedback has been very positive with the workshops improved based on participant suggestions. To be piloted in early 2012 will be the next modules in the Program and a new 'gender diversity for mangers' workshop.
Becoming Leaders Workshops: Westward Ho!
Seventy women + three workshops + three cities = Successful outcomes for the Women in SETT Leadership Program. Vancouver, Richmond, and Edmonton were the sites of three Becoming Leaders workshops hosted by Stantec Inc., Urban Systems and WISER March 28-30 for early to mid-career female scientists and engineers as well as senior graduate students and post-docs at the latter. Participants were fully engaged in the sessions that encompassed information presentations and group and plenary work on the challenges and helpful strategies for women developing their leadership potential.
Leading women described their personal career pathways and offered advice for success: Janet Benjamin, President of Vireo Technologies and Michele Blake, Senior Principal (Stantec); Marg Latham, President of Aqua Libra Consulting and Tracy Rockwell, Senior Engineer (Urban Systems), and Lianne Lefsrud, VP, WinSETT Centre, PhD Candidate, Alberta School of Business (WISER).
Feedback and evaluation are highly positive and one attendee presented on the workshop the next day to her work colleagues and CEO. The BC events were organized and supported by Dr. Elizabeth Croft, NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (BC/Yukon), with additional support from Status of Women Canada (Women's Program), WISEST, APEGGA, and Suncor Energy.
Women in Oil and Gas Conference
Fueling the Future: Women in Oil and Gas International Conference was held in St. John's NL March 8-9, 2011. Representatives of the Centre had strong input on the steering and program committees for the event as well as in the program. About 400 delegates representing industry, governments, industry associations, academia, and community organizations attended from Canada, Norway and the US. Lianne Lefsrud, VP of the Centre, presented Fueling the Tank: Best Practices in Promoting Diversity and Innovation, emphasizing the business case in a plenary session on the first morning. Carolyn Emerson, Project Coordinator, and Susan Hollett, Centre Facilitator, delivered a presentation on Developing Womens's Leadership to Increase Recruitment and Retention in the Oil and Gas Sector on the second day. Participant response was very positive highlighting the wealth of information, effective practices and commitment as we face the 'big crew change' in the industry. Program speaker bios and presentation slides for the conference are available here.
WinSETT Centre representatives Carolyn Emerson, Gloria Montano and Lianne Lefsrud
Status of Women Canada Funding for WinSETT Centre
On Nov. 12, the Hon. Rona Ambrose, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, announced a two-year $180,000 grant to the WinSETT Centre for its Women in Leadership Program. "As Minister for Status of Women, I am proud to encourage women to contribute as leaders and decision-makers in their workplaces and in their communities," said Minister Ambrose. "This unique and innovative project will be instrumental in developing and strengthening the knowledge, skills and roles of women in these occupations."
Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour, President of the Centre, responded "We are very pleased to have the Government of Canada's support for this promising new project which will enhance decision-making and leadership roles for women employed in these non-traditional fields. The project's other main activities are to develop a career awareness program for Aboriginal and immigrant women and girls, and to provide employers with resources and supports to promote diversity within their workplaces."
About 80 individuals, including students and representatives from academia, industry, professional associations, community organizations, and the media, were in attendance.
[Photo: Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour and Minister Rona Ambrose]
Women in SETT Leadership Program
The WinSETT Centre is developing and delivering a program of sequential modules to strenghten the leadership of women in SETT fields. Women's leadership helps transform organizations and their culture bringing financial benefits, creating more inclusive workplaces, increasing retention of talented women, and showing other women that there is a place for their skills and contributions. Why this unique Women in SETT Leadership Program?
- Career and leadership development is important for any individual who wants to enjoy a successful and fruitful career.
- There have been increased numbers of women in technical careers over the last 30 years, but the number of women in leadership positions has not followed suit.
- Sometimes women are unaware of systems' rules and informal practices and they don't ask. Women also leave technical fields at higher rates than their male peers.
- Organizational challenges now require leadership competencies appropriate to succeeding in complex, dynamic enviroments and in creating inclusive workplaces.
WinSETT Centre, CCWESTT at CAF Conference; New Article
Women as a solution to skills shortages was a prominent theme at the National Conference of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum held June 6-8 in St. John's NL. Valerie Overend and Carolyn Emerson representing the WinSETT Centre and Nan Armour representing the Hypatia Association, co-presented in a standing room only session on Orientation and Retention Practices to Increase the Participation of Women in Skilled Trades. Positive, interactive discussion among attendees provided further examples of promising practices and underscored the importance of the issues. On the final day, Valerie and Nan each lead three 'cracker barrel' sessions on measures to increase women in apprencticeship and employment, and in the following plenary Women in Trades Dialogue ~200 delegates engaged in generating concrete actions for stakeholders.
[Nan Armour and Valerie Overend prepare for the Women in Trades Dialogue.]
Valerie and Carolyn wrote an article on the session for the Canadian Apprenticeship Journal. Click here to view Actions to Balance Supply and Demand: The Women in Trades Dialogue at the 2010 Canadian Apprenticehip Forum Conference.
WinSETT Launched Nationally in Winnipeg May 14, 2010
The Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology celebrated its national launch at the successful 13th National CCWESTT Conference in Winnipeg on May 14th. About 250 delegates were inspired by Margaret-Ann Armour, President of the Board of the Centre, as she described the growth and nuturing of this new Centre by CCWESTT member groups and individuals and our strong partners from industry, professional organizations, governments and post-secondary institutions. She described the benefits to all in the room and bringing her chemistry background to the fore, dazzled with audience with demonstrations of energy generation and a flask of liquid that changed from red to green symbolizing 'all systems go'!
Later in the Conference, Dr. Armour described in more detail the current and planned activities of the Centre and again acknowledged our current supporters: Government of Alberta, the Associaton of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, Atlantic Region, Suncor Energy Inc., University of Alberta, Saskatchewan Ministry of Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Status of Women Office (SaskWITT), and Vale Inco. Before and after the Conference, the inaugural Board of Directors of the Centre met to discuss programs and activities, governance and fund development.
Left: WinSETT Advisor Senator Lillian Dyck with CCWESTT President Nan Armour and Centre President Margaret-Ann Armour
Above: Some members of the Board of the WinSETT Centre celebrate with organizers of the successful CCWESTT National Conference.
Women in Leadership Workshop Oil and Gas Sector
The WinSETT Centre delivered the first of its Women in SETT Leadership Workshop modules to 17 early-mid career female engineers, scientists and technologists from Suncor Energy in St. John's, NL, April 27, 2010.
Becoming Leaders: An Introduction to Leadership Skills and Strategies was successful in increasing awareness of the factors that influence leadership success, strengthening confidence in making leadership development choices, and assisting participants to develop a preliminary plan to advance their personal leadership potential. The workshop also provided an opportunity for attendees to network and to hear workplace tips and personal strategies from women with a variety of experiences in the sector.
The Centre thanks the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, Atlantic Region, at Memorial University, and Suncor Energy, Inc. for their strong support.
WinSETT Centre's Alberta Celebration in January 2010
Diversity is integral to business success. The benefits include:
- Solutions to skilled worker shortages through access to a boader base of talent
- Increased innovation potential and enhanced market development
- Stronger financial performance and improved governance
Yet diversity remains an elusive goal for many companies and organizations in SETT fields with a particularly marked under-representation of women as decision makers.
The Canadian Centre for Women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology (WinSETT Centre) has been established with its head office in the Research Transition Facility of the University of Alberta. With initial funding from the Gov't of Alberta's Depts of Children and Youth Services, and Employment and Immigration, the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, Atlantic Region, the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, Suncor Energy Inc.,and the in kind support of U of A and other organizations, the work of the Centre has begun. By leveraging the expertise of CCWESTT's 19 member groups across Canada, the Centre is developing and implementing diversity initiatives to catalyze a critical mass of women at all levels in SETT. The Centre is working in partnership with industry, government, academe and communiti organizations to:
- Develop and deliver the Women in SETT Leadership Program to increase the desire of women to assume leadership in SETT fields and to provide them with tools to succeed.
- Run Career Awareness Workshops for young Aboriginal and immigrant women to increase the pool of these women in SETT.
- Build on and add value to the inititatives of the 19 member groups of CCWESTT.
- Track statisitics on women in SETT to monitior the effect of the initiatives.
The Alberta celebration of the WinSETT Centre was held on Jan. 14 in the Telus Centre of the University of Alberta in conjunction with the inaugural WISEST Lecture. About 250 representatives of governments, post-secondary institutions, industry, professional associations, education, community groups, and women in SETT organizations attended the event.
Lesley MacDonald of 'Woman of Vision' was our host for the evning and welcomed attendees and introduced special guests. Brenda Leskiw, Assoc. Dean of Science brought greetings from U of A, and Nan Armour, CCWESTT President, addressed the audience with a brief overview of CCWESTTT and the WinSETT Initiative. Margaret-Ann Armour, Co-Chair of the Centre, then gave an account of the development, mandate and planned activities of the Centre and acknowledged supporters. Her very engaging presentation drew rapt attention with her use of some visually exciting chemical demonstrations of energy and change.
The guests proceeded to the adjacent theatre for the WISEST lecture delivered by Anne McLellan, P.C., O.C. Ms. McLellan's presentation was engaging and interactive as she traced her own personal journey as a student, woman in the legal profession and then a female politician. She drew comparisons with the challgens of women in SETT, exploring the culture of professions and the workplace. She underscored the need for leadership in driving change to create more inclusive work environments and the desire of today's young women and men to have full and balanced lives.
Refreshments back in the atrium accompanied the continuing conversations of the many guests who stayed. A number of them approached WinSETT repsentatives expressing their support of the Centre. The entire event was a great success. As one of the attendees said the evening was 'elegrant, entertaining and full of passion.' Many thanks go to the organizing team and volunteers.
Careers in Your Future
The WinSETT Centre just completed its first initiative with a grant from Alberta Children and Youth Services and the partnership and support of several CCWESTT organizations - Women Building Futures, WISEST/UAWiSE, WRDC, and WISE NL.
Four SETT career information events including interative workshops for Aboriginal junior and senior high school students, a panel session for university science and engineering undergraduate and graduate students, and an information session on careers in construction for community women, were delivered in several locations in Alberta. Community partners were the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, APEGGA, Amiskwachee Academy, and Ben Calf Robe Catholic Native School.
The second component of the initiative was the Careers in Your Future website which has now been launched and is currently hosted on this CCWESTT website.
The WinSETT Initiative
In 2003, CCWESTT began the Women in SETT/Femmes en SGMT Initiative to strengthen policy and practice to increase women’s recruitment, retention and advancement in science, engineering, trades and technology in Canada. Achieving this mission will strengthen Canada’s economy by capitalizing on our full human resource potential, providing solutions to skills shortages, and increasing innovation capacity and global competitiveness.
Primary work in Phase I included input on important issues from CCWESTT members, consultations with stakeholders and institutional leaders, research, and building relationships. In Phase II, we presented the strong business case for increasing women in SETT, and proposed a model for the Canadian Centre for Women in SETT.
In 2007, CCWESTT again received funding from the Women’s Program of Status of Women Canada to advance the WinSETT initiative. The focus of Phase III was to develop, deliver and evaluate recruitment and retention products and services for organizational partners addressing skills shortages in four designated sectors:
- Oil and Gas
- Post-Secondary Education
- Construction and Trades
- Information Technology
Current services include employer workshops using Welcoming Women into Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology Workplaces: A Checklist of Strategies. Pilot workshops and activities were identified for the four sectors, and services delivered in several locations across Canada in 2008. The WinSETT initiative is promoting these models and resources for expanded dissemination to stakeholders.
A primary focus for the WinSETT Centre in 2010 is the development of the Women in SETT Leadership Program of sequential modules designed to increase the desire of women to be leaders in SETT and to provide the tools to enable them to succeed. They will then influence change in the culture of the workplace, making it more supportive of all women. The first module was delivered to women in the oil and gas sector in April 2010 (see above).
Providing strategic guidance to assist the Working Committee, help promote WinSETT and leverage our influence, is an Advisory Panel of high level leaders in key stakeholder organizations. Support from CCWESTT member organizations and other external partners continues to strengthen our efforts.
Presentations on the WinSETT Initiative, the oil and gas workshop, Project Catalyst, and the skilled trades pilots, were made in June 2008 at the national conferences of CCWESTT, the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum, and the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association.
Click for WinSETT Initiative Chronology.
For more information, contact:
Carolyn J. Emerson, Program Coordinator
Tel: (709) 754-7646; (709) 746-4702
WinSETT Centre Office