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International Women’s Day at Stantec—what does it mean?

We’re celebrating women’s accomplishments across our organization

By Erin Davis, Edmonton AB 

Today people from all over the globe are celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD)—and Stantec is too! We’re recognizing the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. And we’ve come a long way. We’re celebrating our first IWD this year, and we’ve ignited a culture of engagement around diversity and inclusion within our organization.

We’re highlighting women throughout our organization—hearing the voices of our diverse team speaks to our commitment to D&I

Transcript of the video follows
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<p>Samantha Szeszu:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Knowing how my own environment impacts me, I know that the work we create can impact others.</p> <p>Tamika Ali-Yeri:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What I like about coming to work is that I don't have to leave my seat to travel the world.</p> <p>Frederique St-A:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What motivates me in my work is improving the lives of my fellow citizens by helping to improve their infrastructure.</p> <p>Carla Artis:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What I'm most passionate about is what we do here. We design communities.</p> <p>Kyliegh Kite:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The thing that makes me the most excited about coming in to work in the morning is knowing that I'm having a positive impact on the future.</p> <p>Judy Hercules:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My passion towards my role is part of the fact that I'm contributing in building a safer, healthier ane environmentally friendly place of work.</p> <p>Speaker 7:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What inspires me to come to work every day, the people of course.</p> <p>Jessica Buckwol:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I'm a lawyer on Stantec's risk management team. My legal practice focuses on HR and employment law matters. While not everybody's always happy to get my call, I am passionate about working with leadership to come up with solutions to tough situations that live our values.</p> <p>Brittany Norris:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; What makes me excited to come into work everyday is the challenges that I face. Challenges that may take me time to overcome, whether I can overcome them in a day, a month, a year. Challenges that make me want to work that much harder.</p> <p>Julie Labonte:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am passionate about helping make sure that everyone on this planet, whether they are in North America or Africa, has access to safe and reliable drinking water. I am fortunate that my work at Stantec allows me to fulfill this passion.</p> <p>Barbara Nazarew:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am very happy to be part of a company that is working towards being an industry leader of creating a equitable practice. I think the leadership of our company is very supportive of advancement of women in architectural and design and engineering industries. I am just really looking forward to the future with this company.</p> <p>Michele Lefebvr:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I like that our work applies my science education to the real world.</p> <p>Margie Simmons:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I'm most passionate about helping others win and achieve their career aspirations.</p> <p>Melinda Bahr:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I'm most passionate about delivering projects that are environmentally responsible.</p> <p>Emily Eppinger:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I think the project work that I do is pretty important.</p> <p>Bernadette Bezy:&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This is a great place to be.&nbsp;</p>

I joined Stantec two and a half years ago as manager for strategic planning. I was brought into the organization to help ensure our overall corporate strategic goals were held top of mind. These include Health and Safety, Ethics and Integrity, and now Diversity and Inclusion (D&I).

So what is D&I at Stantec? Our employees have diverse backgrounds and valuable perspectives. Leveraging our diversity ensures that a breadth of viewpoints, experiences, and intellectual skills are being utilized to achieve success in our global environment. D&I fits into our strategic plan when we create opportunity by inviting, embracing, and celebrating these differences.

I joined the Edmonton office’s Women@Stantec group, an employee resource group, in Fall 2015. Our mission is to inspire and encourage women of all levels within the company to join together for education, networking, charitable activities and community engagement. As a committee member, I developed a business plan, goals, and a vision for expansion throughout the organization. I’m proud to say, today we have 20 W@S groups across the organization!

In June 2016, we unveiled an “Unconscious bias” program—a leadership training program that tackles the effect unconscious bias or discrimination can have on hiring and promotion. The training helps participants understand how perception based on a person’s age, gender, physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, and weight, among many other characteristics, con influence the promotion and hiring of employees, amongst other things. These social stereotypes are often formed outside of conscious awareness. It’s another great training program here that helps us further the cause around D&I.

Now, fast forward to December 2016. A W@S event featured a video from WestJet Airline that was a response to a sexist note a passenger gave to Captain Carey Smith Steacy, one of the airline’s female pilots. The video montage featured women in various leadership roles in their organization and also coincided with International Women’s Day. It was so powerful that our W@S group thought, “Wow, we should do something like this!” And there, the seed for the Stantec International Women’s Day video idea took root.

Our newest partners, MWH Global, now Stantec, have celebrated IWD for years. Together, we discussed an idea to highlight women throughout our organization and felt strongly that hearing the voices of our diverse team would be most impactful. The result is this video we are releasing today.

This two year journey is far from over, but I’m so pleased because my passion for this subject is shared by Stantec. I want to see more women in leadership roles not just within our organization, but globally. For me, it’s about engaging all parts of the organization (men, too) so that women feel empowered and confident in holding influential positions.

Happy International Women’s Day 2017!

For me, it’s about engaging all parts of the organization (men, too) so that women feel empowered and confident in holding influential positions

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