Each newsletter we interview one of our partners to share more details about their work.
In this edition, we chatted with Marcie Cochrane from Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia.
Please tell us about Engineers and Geoscientists BC.
Engineers and Geoscientists BC is the regulatory and licensing body for the engineering and geoscience professions in BC, with over 38,000 registrants. To protect the public, we maintain robust standards for entry to the professions, and comprehensive regulatory tools to support engineers and geoscientists in meeting professional and ethical obligations. We are a not-for-profit organization governed by a council of elected registrants and government appointees. Our Council is accountable to the public through the Ministry of the Attorney General, under the Office of the Superintendent of Professional Governance, for both the governance and management of the organization.
How do Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s programs help to advance the goals of gender inclusion and diversity?
Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s strategic plan identifies fostering diversity and inclusion as a key principle and this has been a major strategic focus for the organization. The organization is currently undertaking work in many areas to support the goals of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Over the past year, we have taken several actions to advance EDI, including reviewing our volunteer appointment process to ensure a more intentional approach to EDI, offering more EDI-related topics in our Continuing Education program, embedding EDI principles into our Science Games volunteer training, developing a land acknowledgement policy and an EDI statement, advancing work to update our Human Rights and Diversity Guidelines, and embedding EDI principles into many of our program and practices. We recognize the value in partnerships, collaboration, and connection and have several different approaches to strengthening these, including a BC 30 by 30 Champions group, a Women in Engineering and Geoscience Division, and as a Catalyst Supporter. In order to advance EDI in the professions of engineering and geoscience, we have committed to building an inclusive environment within our organization, across all volunteer groups, and for registrants and registrant firms that promotes equity and diversity within our professions.
As one of our key knowledge translation partners, can you tell us about your involvement with Project RISE?
Engineers and Geoscientists BC is a proud partner of Project RISE. As a partner, we access the resources and research information generated by Project RISE, using this information to inform the design and delivery of various programs and actions we take to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion in engineering and geoscience. We share the ESS resources with many of our partners and others who reach out to us looking for information about gender diversity in STEM. Specifically, we have used these resources within our Career Awareness program and to share with our network of BC 30 by 30 Champions. We have also been able to engage the Project RISE team to review our 30 by 30 action plan and have them provide input and supporting information on areas of focus within the action plan. Each year we participate in the annual ESS meetings, gaining valuable information from the various presentations and discussions that are held. Finally, we have had the opportunity to engage some of the ESS research team members to provide presentations to our registrants as various events, including the Engineers and Geoscientists BC annual conference, a recent BC 30 by 30 Champions meeting, and through our Continuing Education program.
What is the 30 by 30 initiative and can you tell us about your involvement as a champion?
30 by 30 is an initiative led by Engineers Canada, with the goal to increase the number of women in engineering. The program name is tied to a specific goal to increase the percentage of newly registered engineers who are women to 30% by the year 2030. Although the program name is tied to a specific measurement point – newly licensed engineers – and is specific to women in engineering, the program itself has expanded its scope in recent years, recognizing that recruitment, retention, and advancement are interconnected, and efforts are required at all career stages if we want to see meaningful, lasting change in terms of diversity and inclusion within the profession of engineering.
As a 30 by 30 Champion, Engineers and Geoscientists BC participates in a number of national working groups that connect other regulators, post-secondary institutions, and other stakeholders who are committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion within engineering in Canada. As a member of the 30 by 30 national working groups, Engineers and Geoscientists BC shares information, contributes to and attends the annual conference, and participates in specific projects and task forces such as the recently completed GBA+ Analysis of National Engineering Licensure Assistance and Employer Awareness Programs.