What does Empowering Women in Industry mean to you? Finding ways to lift up other women, either through networking, sharing experiences, or amplifying their achievements. I want to be a loudspeaker to broadcast the great things that Women in Mining are doing!
How did you get started in your field? My dad is an engineer (structural engineer) and when I was a kid, I NEVER thought I would be an engineer! But, I was always interested in geology and earth science so I went to Colorado School of Mines and studied Geological Engineering with an emphasis on exploration geology. I thought I would have a career finding new mines or oil and gas prospects. After I joined MWH (now Stantec) I started working on mining projects, and then one day I was asked to work on a tailings dam project. I have been working on tailings dams for the past decade and I absolutely love the work that I do. My career path was not intentional, but I was able to find something that I love, and a company with an amazing culture.
What do you love most about your job? What are you most proud of? As a consultant, I have the opportunity to work on diverse projects all over the world. I had never been outside the US before I started this career, and now I have traveled to Alaska, Peru, India, Canada…all for work. I love the fact that Stantec is a global company and I frequently interact with colleagues in other states and other countries. Every project is different, but you can always find a way to apply what you learned on your last project to improving your next project.
What advice would you give to someone considering this line of work? I never thought my career path would progress the way it has. When I was starting out, I had no clue what a career in STEM really meant. Although I am an Engineer I can honestly say that I do very little ‘hands on’ engineering anymore. My background in STEM allows me to understand technical concepts and work with teams to solve incredibly complex technical problems. But my role today is almost entirely about communicating and teambuilding. The ability to comfortably write reports and speak in front of groups have been two valuable assets in developing my career. My advice to anyone – women or men – entering the industry is: don’t discount the value of, and need for, well-rounded skills. The industry and employers need all of us to lead and communicate at every level of our careers.
Anything Else? Get involved with Professional Societies! They are the BEST way to build your network and expand your skills outside of your "job description". They are also an incredible places to find mentors - and you NEED mentors (yes, more than one!)