Empowering Our People

Posted: December 5, 2019

By: Jen Zaroski

As a society, we have evolved and have begun to acknowledge just how important it is for organizations to provide an environment that is safe and welcoming for anyone regardless of gender, beliefs or ethnic background. Cultivating a diverse and inclusive workplace environment can provide organizations and their respective people with a wide variety of benefits, including a more productive team and a safe environment for the exchange of ideas. The benefits of committing to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace environment reach beyond “the boardroom”, it also enhances and encourages individuals to think differently about others, which can then contribute to creating safe and sustainable cities and communities.

Gender Equality and Diversity at Williams Engineering Canada

Everyone deserves a seat at the table. We place great importance on our people being provided equal opportunities and advancements for growth regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability or beliefs. We recognize that diverse thought and life experience adds to the variety of perspectives at Williams Engineering. Our focus is to keep on developing a welcoming and open-minded culture, where our people feel safe and motivated to contribute to their organization’s success.

How Does Williams Engineering Canada Foster Equality and Diversity?

We recognize that specific jobs and industries have traditionally been gendered, but we strive to strategically move away from any preconceived biases. Our Human Resources team spares no effort in working towards a bias-free hiring process, and are working on ensuring our job descriptions are written with a gender neutral tone to appeal to all qualified individuals. We are digging deeper and asking the challenging questions that will help lead us to expand into an even more inclusive and prejudice-free work environment.

We want to bring in new ideas from a variety of different individuals to create diversity of thought. One of our core values – encourage diverse perspectives, create diverse solutions – urges us to work to embrace each other’s differences and gain from a myriad of fresh ideas. As an organization, we recognize that gender equality and diversity in the workplace is an evolutionary process; it is a shift in mentality and practices that stem from positive forward movement within our society.

As of December 2017, a national Canadian average of 18% of women are represented as newly licensed engineers. The “30 by 30” initiative, is being supported and pushed forward by Engineers Canada, which targets the goal to increase the representation of women engineers by 30 per cent by the year 2030. Overall, Williams Engineering Canada currently has a 28 per cent female representation within the entire organization and is continuing to push to grow and diversify our female representation – with a focus on women in technical and management roles.

Ending the Stigma

Our approach to ending the gender inequality stigma and promoting diversity is by utilizing “the three Ts”: time, tools, and training. Real change takes time. Williams Engineering Canada is dedicated to start with leadership, educating all levels of the organization about our vision, and placing tools in their tool kit to help carry and continue to promote change within the organization. The main tool that will be utilized is open communication, through a variety of different channels (interpersonal, company wide, and online). Keeping the communication channels open, and welcoming feedback is factored into an accurate and transparent transfer of information. Most importantly, training helps to break down assumptions and creates an awareness around unconscious biases. Our leaders are working to organize workshops and place great value on concentrating   on and investing in a variety of gender equality and inclusivity initiatives. Williams Engineering Canada is working with Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) to learn, share and facilitate dialogue about developing better practices for the  private sector, with the goal of reaching gender equality. As well, Colbourne Institute is helping our organization look at internal processes to work towards our goal of gender equality. Both of which, focus on creating awareness of gender equality and provide tools and practices that continue to educate and equip the public and our people to continue to make a positive impact.

We value our people and our company and are working internally and externally to empower our teams, and proactively prioritize a more inclusive and supportive workplace environment for the benefit of the cities and communities that we’re a part of and serve.



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