On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, two different yet inspiring career paths
To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we sat down with two accomplished Englobe colleagues - Jill DeMerchant, Traffic Engineer in Saint John, New Brunswick and Audrey Lavoie, Technical Materials Assistant in Sept-Îles, Québec – to gain some insight into their career paths. Here's what Jill and Audrey had to say:
E: What inspires you about your work at Englobe?
JD: Definitely, it’s my team who inspires me. Working with a group of amazing people has been one of the highlights of my time with Englobe. I’ve been so fortunate to be surrounded by people who are extremely knowledgeable and are eager to share their knowledge with me.
AL: What inspires me in my work at Englobe are the relationships I have built with my colleagues, meeting new people throughout the season, and learning from them over time. Looking back, I can appreciate how far I've come since the very beginning and how much it has given me as a person, but also as a woman in a male-dominated environment.
E: Have you had a mentor in your career? How has this mentor supported you?
JD: My mentor, Ryan, has been a huge support in my career. He is always available to lend a hand where needed and has given me the opportunity to grow by challenging me with new and exciting projects.
AL: Yes, I have a mentor who supports me and encourages me not to give up, and I’m very grateful to her. She helps me a lot in areas where I have the most difficulty, and she knows how to guide me in everything, despite all the daily tasks in her own job. I’d like to thank Denise Méthot who knows how to reassure me when I feel like things aren’t going well. Thank you so much!
E: Tell us about a career challenge you faced, as a woman in the industry, that you’re particularly proud to have overcome.
JD: Finding my place in this industry was a challenge for me, given the lack of female representation out there. Entering the workforce after school, I was the only female engineer in my office. I battled feelings of self-doubt and a sense that I didn’t really belong. I was able to overcome this by surrounding myself with colleagues who genuinely believe in my capabilities and want to see me succeed, and by reminding myself that what sets me apart from everyone else isn’t a weakness, but an asset.
AL: No matter what the job is, we all have challenges to face. But as a woman in what’s considered a non-traditional trade, I’m more than proud to say that I’m able to forge my way among men without fear of moving forward and with my head held high! I am also proud to receive compliments from my employer, but also from the contractors I meet over the summer. It’s gestures like these that make my work so enjoyable.
E: What advice would you give to a woman hoping to pursue a career in science?
JD: I would tell them to go for it! You’ll likely face some obstacles along the way, but in the end, they will make you a better engineer. Believe in yourself and you can do anything!
AL: My advice to women who wish to pursue this type of career is to not be afraid and to trust yourself. We’re just as capable as men, if not more so. Don't give up; go for it!
Thank you, Jill and Audrey, for these encouraging and inspiring words! Englobe wishes all women and girls in science a memorable International Day and a rewarding career path. Keep shaping your own inspiring stories!