The first step toward a career in engineering or geoscience is being able to imagine yourself in them.Yet, for many young women, Black, Indigenous and people of colour who dream of working in the fields, obstacles and barriers to full participation quickly present themselves.
Unfortunately, by the time many students reach high school, a critical point where students begin to select pre-requisites for their future path, established biases and stereotypes from teachers, parents, available role models, and the media impact choices.As students grow, subtle and overt forms of sexism, racism, homophobia and transphobia gradually or abruptly nudge many students away from Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) fields of study and careers.
A lack of diverse representation means not only does the engineering field lose critical perspectives and insights of people from many backgrounds, but all of humanity misses out on potential solutions to the vast problems we face in our communities.But it doesn't have to be this way.
How? By working to change perceptions of who can be an engineer or geoscientist. To do this we must engage the engineering, geoscience and larger community to address bias and discrimination where it occurs.
Our mission is to continue breaking down the barriers that engineers and geoscientists face due to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism.
This is often called implicit bias, which is a prejudice that is suggested or assumed, but not obvious or openly stated.
Human brains are incredibly complex, and studies show that prejudices can be unlearned.
Policies, systems, institutions and language can evolve or be altogether changed.
In partnership with schools, thousands of petitions were hung in classrooms and school hallways throughout the province that outlined the problem and demanded solutions. The petitions garnered thousands of student signatures and inspired teachers and administrators to talk to their students about the issue.
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