International Women’s Day 2020
March 13, 2020
March 13, 2020
To mark International Women’s Day, we are sharing stories that celebrate, encourage, and empower the women of Stantec
A woman is the full circle,” wrote author Diane Mariechild. "Within her is the power to create, nurture, and transform.” Stantec’s community of female colleagues exemplify these qualities daily as they make a lasting impact on their teams, clients, and communities.
This International Women’s Day, we started a dialogue—one that celebrates, encourages, and empowers the women of Stantec.
We’re proud to be part of a global day that recognizes the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women by shining a spotlight on our own international network of impressive and diverse female talent. We asked our employees what they value, what drives their work, and what inspires them to be their best.
“I’m inspired by those who can look beyond their circumstance and envision a bright and bold future for themselves.”
I draw my greatest inspiration from my mom. At 36 years old, my mom was widowed with three young children. Having emigrated from China to Canada, she had little formal education and barely spoke English, and didn’t know how to drive a car. But she wouldn’t allow her circumstance to define her or limit her potential—through sheer force of will, she built a successful business that has endured for over 40 years.
She taught me that if you work with diligence and purpose, you can achieve anything.
“I drive change by communicating with people, listening to their concerns, and working together with my team to create a strong safety culture within Stantec.”
What energizes me in my role is helping employees apply their safety knowledge in the office or on a project site. When we create a safe workplace, we have a positive impact on our colleagues’ performances and attitudes.
It’s always rewarding to hear that coworkers are raising the level of safety awareness in their homes by sharing their safety lessons with their friends and family. Recognizing that our work is resonating with our people helps me feel like I’m achieving my purpose, which is ultimately to make our communities safer for everyone.
“I build communities by genuinely engaging with people and building a strong network around me.”
I am so incredibly proud to build and shape communities. I couldn’t do this without leveraging the skills and dedication of the team I have around me. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last eight years of my career working on a project in a rural mining town called Karratha, 932 miles (1,500 kilometers) north of Perth, Australia. It’s been rewarding to build local relationships and watch the community grow from a rural town with no amenities to a regional city with upgraded road and infrastructure networks, diverse residential and mixed-use developments, and high-quality public spaces.
The network I’ve built has been integral to partnering with that community as well as tackling complex problems unique to its geographic isolation. Should you ever get an opportunity to work on a project in a rural community, I’d highly recommend you take the chance. It’s a great way to engage with local communities and make a tangible difference to their lives.
“I find meaning in creating a truly inclusive workplace for everyone.”
One thing I remember vividly about my first day at Stantec is me asking a colleague, “By the way, who’s driving the Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) strategy over here?” Flash forward a few months, and I was one of the people supporting Stantec’s I&D strategy in Europe, working on one of my greatest passions.
A little while ago, one of our employees told me that my being so open about I&D gave them the courage to come out about their own sexuality to their team. That’s when I thought: ‘Yes. This is exactly why I love doing this.’ Being able to connect with people is what really puts a smile on my face each and every day.
“I mentor others by sharing my knowledge as an architecture leader focused on improving spaces and making them sustainable and inclusive for all.”
For me, mentoring is a rewarding way to support the next generation of professionals. I like to create a space where mentees can feel empowered to conquer any challenge and achieve their aspirations, and try to teach them that good design genuinely changes people’s lives. I do my best to impart my knowledge to young architects just starting out in their careers, and reinforce that mutual respect, sharing opinions, being open to other perspectives, and finding their passion are vital to experiencing success.
As a lead architect on the Panama Canal Expansion, I worked alongside five other women. The experience of collaborating with them on this once-in-a-lifetime project strengthened my belief in the value of continually growing in your career, especially as women, so we can all be powerful forces in transforming our communities.