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International Women in Engineering Day 2023

22% of engineering graduates at Irving Shipbuilding are women. Our engineers are building and maintaining Canada’s current and future fleet. They are providing innovative engineering solutions and advice across our organization from Continuous Improvement to Platform Systems and they are in roles from Engineering Co-op Student to Senior Director.

In recognition of International Women in Engineering Day, we spoke to some of our women in engineering about why they pursued engineering and how they inspire young girls interested in a career in the industry.

Elisha Farrell, Junior Engineer 

Type of Engineer: Currently, I’m working as a Junior Engineer in Quality Control on AOPS. My educational background is a Bachelor of Engineering in Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering.

"I’ve always gravitated towards anything involving math, science, and problem-solving. When I took a career aptitude quiz in Junior High, a career in engineering was one of the top matches and as I researched it, it became apparent that it would to be a great fit for me and my interests. As I began my bachelor’s degree in engineering, my personal interest in ships and naval architecture lead me to choose this discipline to pursue for my degree. Now, almost 2 years into my career, I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to lean on my prior interests in math and problem-solving while also developing a wide range of new skills.

Women in Engineering Day provides a great opportunity to highlight the valuable contributions and achievements of women engineers across the world. It also provides an international awareness campaign to encourage and inform young girls or women of the potential opportunities that exist in Engineering as an exciting career path for them.

To inspire young girls to choose a career in STEM, it is important to provide sufficient awareness to these career opportunities and their potential to excel in one of these fields. For me, it is important that we share our experiences, both positive and negative, to bring to light that any degree or career can have challenges at times but can be rewarding if it is something you enjoy. Participating and supporting programs or organizations that provide exposure to STEM opportunities to young girls or women is another great way to support them in exploring potential interests they may not have previously considered as a career."

Hannah Rowe, Junior Engineer

Type of Engineer: I’m currently working as a Junior Engineer in Quality Assurance and attended Memorial University for a Bachelor's degree in Process Engineering.

"I have always loved a challenge and sought a way to apply my problem-solving skills in my career. Studying engineering has given me the knowledge to tackle complex problems and explore creative solutions to improve the lives of others. Engineering is dynamic, fast-paced, and exhilarating.

To this day, women remain underrepresented in engineering, comprising roughly a quarter of engineers in Canada. By recognizing and celebrating their achievements, we can empower women to pursue careers in STEM and overcome the prejudice they still face.

I am proud to be a member of Women Making Waves, an amazing group within ISI that is dedicated to empowering young girls and non-binary students in our community as they explore the exciting world of STEM.

If you are interested in STEM, participating in programs like Techsploration can provide exposure to the diverse career opportunities available in these fields. You’ll also have the chance to learn from and be mentored by some amazing women!"

Cortney Banks, Area Manager

Type of Engineer: Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering

"I enjoy the challenging work and having a lot of responsibility,” she says. “It’s so rewarding when you solve a problem and can go out to the ship to see the finished product and say, ‘Hey, I worked on this and it works.’

You want to be the person who kicks those doors down and hope that other people walk through them. It has been amazing. There have been challenges along the way, but they make you grow.

You have to put yourself in what you consider a challenging situation to really understand and learn. I truly believe there is a balance to that. I try to push myself the right amount. I don’t always find that balance, but that’s what life is, the journey. I try to challenge myself in a lot of ways at work, in learning, in social situations."


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