The demand for engineers in Canada continues to rise, yet many of these positions need to be fulfilled. With an increasing number of engineers retiring, this is an excellent opportunity for women to increase their impact on engineering. 

Despite making up over half of Canada's population, women remain significantly underrepresented in engineering. Even with a gradual increase in the enrollment of women in post-secondary engineering programs and the number of women entering the engineering field over the past decade, men continue to outnumber women significantly.

There is a place for women in engineering in Canada. Now is the time to secure your spot and make your mark in engineering.

smart and talented women in engineering
smart and talented women in engineering

why canada needs more women in engineering 

The need for more women in engineering can provide a diverse collection of benefits. In addition to improving diversity and closing the gender gap in the profession, women can help fill the talent shortage in the industry and contribute to economic growth. 

women are significantly underrepresented

There is no question that women are significantly underrepresented in engineering and STEM careers:

  • Women make up less than 25% of people in STEM careers. 
  • Only 13 percent of licensed engineers in Canada are women
  • Women only comprise 15% of the total management roles in science, engineering, and technology.

Women are also underrepresented at the academic level. Women only make up 22% of engineering undergraduates, according to Engineers Canada. There are even fewer women in mechanical, software and computer engineering. Only 14 percent of students are women.

stand out in the engineering sector with these other tips

Check out our articles to gain new knowledge and skills that will help you stand out in this ever-changing field. 

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women can help fill the engineer shortage in Canada

Canada is facing a significant engineering talent shortage. Women, internationally trained engineers, and other minorities can help close this talent gap. According to estimates by Engineers Canada, the country could be short up to 100,000 engineers by as early as 2025. 

“These and other STEM jobs pay well, and they’re the future of our economy,” says Dr. Gina Cody in University Affairs. “To address this shortage, we need more women engineers. If their representation in these careers doesn’t rise, Canada will be left behind economically.,’ she adds. 

more women in engineering promote economic growth

A greater number of female engineers will have a positive impact on economic growth, according to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission:

“Greater diversity in the STEM workforce would offer significant benefits to Canadians by addressing skills shortages, increasing innovation and capacity, and providing a greater return on human resources investments.” 

women can serve as role models for future generations

Young girls seeing other women take on prominent roles in engineering shows them there is a place for them. Women can serve as role models, encourage girls to study in STEM programs, and have conversations about women's impact on society as engineers.

bridging the gap: key initiatives to increase the representation of women in engineering

Several initiatives are underway in Canada to help boost the representation of women in engineering. 

the 30 by 30 initiative 

The 30 by 30 initiative seeks to increase the representation of women in the engineering profession. The goal is to increase the number of newly licensed women engineers to 30 percent by the year 2030. The initiative has support in all provinces and territories.

Even though female engineer graduation averages about 20%, programs like 30 by 30 lead to breakthroughs. For example, in 2020, for the first time at Polytechnique Montréal, 30.2% of undergraduate engineering graduates were women (2020).

Engendering Success in STEM (ESS)

Engendering Success in STEM is a collaborative research initiative to promote women's inclusion in STEM. The consortium comprises social scientists, STEM professionals, and stakeholders from both industry and educational sectors. 

Build a Dream

Providing young women with the opportunity to experience STEM and engineering career pathways helps show them it is a real option for them. Build a Dream seeks to advance diversity and inclusion initiatives. The program encourages female students to explore careers where women are underrepresented.


Based out of the University of Alberta, Fem+ is a mentorship program for high school students of under-represented genders. Its success is attributed to its “near-peer” approach. They use undergraduate female engineering students currently in the program to pair up with young females interested in engineering. 

International Women in Engineering Day

Annually, on June 23rd, Engineers Canada unites with individuals and organizations globally to celebrate International Women in Engineering Day. It serves as a chance to highlight the accomplishments of women in engineering, exchange successes, and increase awareness.


DiversifySTEM is an app that offers mini lessons on promoting gender diversity and changing culture. 

The Government of Canada also has several STEM initiatives aimed at improving women's representation in STEM, such as The Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) and Choose Science.

3. get inspired: female engineers leading the way

Women can have a productive and successful career in engineering. Here are some of the female engineers who are setting the path for future generations of women engineers:

Gina Cody

Gina is a true pioneer in the engineering field. She’s a Concordia alumna who donated $15 million to her alma mater in 2018 to create the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science - the first of its kind in Canada and globally. 

Learn more about shattering the glass ceiling in engineering with Gina Cody.

Farah Alibay

Farah is a systems engineer at NASA and has worked on the InSight, Mars Cube One, and Mars 2020 missions. Farah speaks about being a woman of colour, an immigrant, and a young person working in science and engineering.

Read more about Farah Alibay on her out of this world ambitions.

Stephanie Quon 

Stephanie has achieved a lot, and her career is just starting. She was awarded the Gold Medal Student Award in 2022 by Engineers Canada, as a 3rd year at University. She attends the University of British Columbia (UBC) and is part of the Women in Engineering and UBC’s engineering society. 

Check out 5 tips from a gold medal engineering student—insights from Stephanie Quon

Careers in engineering offer stability, great pay and opportunities that outpace other industries and occupations. Canada needs more women engineers. New initiatives are in place, and many trailblazers are setting the path for young women to enter the field. Now more than ever, there is a place for women in engineering.

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