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Women in Technology

Breaking down gender barriers: Alumnae talk about success in engineering

March 13, 2017

According to Engineers Canada, just 12.5 per cent of engineers are women, but more should consider the profession and all it has to offer. To mark International Women’s Day on March 8 and Engineering Month, Sheridan’s Women in Engineering Technology Club hosted six Sheridan alumnae who told a group of students how they’ve found success in a male-dominated field.

Amy Carter (Electromechanical Engineering ’08) encouraged students to stick with the profession, even if they’re the only girls in the classroom. She’s worked everywhere from the automotive sector to heating and air conditioning, and acknowledged that many women in the field have to work harder than men. “You have to be better than the guys so you get remembered,” she said.

But students don’t need to wait until they’ve graduated to stand out. Shauna Jones (Computer Systems Technology, Software Development and Network Engineering ’15) encouraged students to get involved in Sheridan’s extracurricular activities. Jones credited the launch of her own career to her involvement in activities like being a Peer Mentor at Sheridan, and her co-op terms that gave her the chance to make connections that led to a job as a business system analyst at PointClickCare.

Jaclyn Ross, (Manufacturing Management ’16) now works as an operations coordinator at Cambrian Solutions in Oakville. She agreed that “the program at Sheridan got me my job.” After completing a chemical engineering degree at McMaster University, she came to Sheridan to gain hands-on experience she saw she needed to start her career in the consumer products industry. She encouraged students to keep an open mind as they embark on their careers. She entered university hoping to be a civil engineer, then decided on chemical engineering after realizing she wanted to work in consumer product industries and have an impact on products that people use in their daily lives.

Holena Newton (Environmental Technician ’09) is also having a big impact on lives. As a water conservation program specialist at the City of Markham, she’s passionate about what comes out of the tap – and what goes down the drain. Her work takes her to community groups around the city to educate about how to keep water, and the city infrastructure that delivers it, clean and working well. She believes engineering is a profession where women can make a difference, especially in the water treatment sector where, according to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, nearly half the workforce is approaching retirement age.

Learn more about Sheridan’s engineering programs.