Sharing the load on diversity
June 16, 2021
June 16, 2021
Stantec’s Joseph Walsh speaks with the Property Council of Australia about evolutionary change to push diversity through professions like engineering is up to everyone to step up
With International Women in Engineering Day taking place on Wednesday, 23 June, Stantec's principal Joseph Walsh is focused on highlighting the "heavy lifting" required to enhance gender diversity in engineering. Working as an engineer for over two decades, Joseph has seen his fair share of structural gender bias.
The father of three daughters believes the rationale behind why women evade engineering careers is complicated but admits that "unconscious bias starts at a very young age". "Girls are encouraged to play with the pink ice cream trucks and boys with the blue space LEGO. That's just the start".
The structural inequalities that make attracting women into engineering requires a collaborative effort, as Engineers Australia's latest statistic published in June 2019, reveals less than 13 per cent of qualified professional engineers are women.
Stantec's Women in Engineering group operates frequent workshops, training sessions and discussion forums to acknowledge the impact women make in the organisation. In addition, it creates an awareness of conversations that will help remove barriers hindering female involvement in the industry; a program that Walsh credits is a valuable plan.
"If we say we want to increase the gender diversity of our business because of the many benefits—diversity of thought, improving workplace culture, allowing us to recruit from a bigger pool—then our hiring decisions must support that goal.
"It's a long road, but we are heading in the right direction," Walsh adds. "It's a change that can't be led by just women alone. We all have to do the heavy lifting share the load."
Read the full article in Property Australia.