Women in Engineering Summit

wes 2019

solutions to Increase career satisfaction for women in engineering


saturday, september 28, 2019 calgary (NEW)

MacEwan Hall, University of Calgary

friday, september 20, 2019 edmonton

Telus World of Science

Support the 30 by 30 Initiative

Contact Us: info@womeninengg.org to volunteer

Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, YouTube2 and Facebook

Watch WES 2018 Chair’s Global TV Interview for the 2018 summit 

Why Attend WES 2019?

WES 2018 in Edmonton was sold out, and here are some of the testimonials:

“Keep hosting this summit! It's important for female engineers to bond and share experiences”

“It was inspiring to see IIya as the leader of the Panama Expansion project showing it is possible to have it all..........a family and a successful career.”

“I am very supportive of this initiative that provides an invaluable opportunity to engage women in successful engineering careers. Please count in my continued participation and proactive support, I would like to volunteer in assisting further editions of this event.”

“Keep event prices reasonable, keep sponsoring students.”

Women in engineering Summit 2019 CALGARY AND Edmonton

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WES 2018 photo with Ilya and Bakhtawar.jpeg

Thank you

To our partner PMINAC and to our sponsors for WES 2018:

Platinum: Telus World of Science (venue, breakfast, IMAX viewing), and CCWESTT 2018 Conference (20 students tickets)

Gold: Beckingham Environmental (Keynote speaker airfare), and TransCanada Corporation (VIP Cocktail & Networking Closing Event)

Silver: APEGA (Coffee Breaks)

Bronze: Edmonton Region Immigration Employment Council - ERIEC (printed program), Mark Lopez - facebook/moneytree.ca (Gifts for Keynote, Chair, MC and Engineers Canada Representative), Sutton Place Hotel (accommodation keynote speaker), and to all individuals and companies who donated one or more tickets for students.

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register through our partner PMINAC's WEBSITE

Click Here to Register

Educators & Related Professionals…………...$149.00+GST

PMINAC Members…………......15% discount

Recent Graduates, Students & Unemployed………......$119.00+GST




diverse solutions i Value-added insights for women in engineering i networking & support 

Attend the first-ever Women in Engineering Summit (WES) 2018 in Edmonton and you will join a growing network of great women in Engineering and Geoscience in Alberta, Canada.

We need more than a University degree to assure we have a fulfilling and sustainable career. Learn how we can support each other, discover practical solutions to increase the number of females working in the field.

Upon registration, your children can join the free IMAX movie. 



invest in workforce diversity in engineering 

Send your employees and top leaders to the first-ever Women in Engineering Summit in Edmonton. Demonstrate your company's continuous goal to increase gender diversity and inclusion in engineering and geoscience.

Our event will attract media attention through the keynote by Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive VP of Engineering, Panama Canal Authority.

Sponsorship Levels:

  • Platinum Sponsor: $2,000-$5,000 VIP Cocktail Event; for 4 Twitter posts

  • Gold Sponsor: $1,000-$1,999 for Lunch & Speakers; for 2 Twitter posts

  • Silver Sponsor: $500-$999 for covering Coffee Breaks; 1 Twitter post

  • Bronze Sponsor: up to $500 for Event Materials & printed Program

WES 2019

WES’ mission is to create an engaging space to discuss issues and explore practical strategies toward inclusion and retention of females in the profession. We strongly believe women engineers and geoscientists must be valued, respected and recognized for their contributions to the field, ensuring women remain in the profession until retirement. Men and women are welcomed to attend.

program WES 2018


Registration and continental breakfast

7:30AM - 8:15AM

registrar: andrea panzeter, P.eng.


Welcome, Opening Keynote and imax film showing

8:15AM - 9:00AM | "Keynote: Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive VP Engineering and Program Management for the Panama Canal Authority"

Ilya Espino de Marotta led the Panama Canal Expansion Project as Executive Vice-President of Engineering for the Panama Canal Authority. Marotta was appointed to the role in 2012 and was the first woman in the history of the Panama Canal Authority to hold the role. Marotta said that some male colleagues questioned her appointment and is quoted as saying, "I wear the pink hard-hat to make a statement that a woman can do this job." Marotta describes the Panama Canal Expansion project as "a dream job for any engineer". Ilya has been in Canada only once before, she visited Halifax, Nova Scotia. Now she is pleased to visit Edmonton, Alberta for the first time to share her message of hope for equitable engineering careers for men and women. 

Interview with Ilya Espino de Marotta 

 9:00AM - 9:45AM | "IMAX Film - Dream Big: Engineering Our World"

Telus World of Science is pleased to kick-off WES 2018 with a complimentary showing of the IMAX movie Dream Big: Engineering Our World. Our registered WES 2018 attendees are welcome to bring any children in their family to the movie for free. Dream Big reveals the compassion and creativity that drive engineers to create better lives for people and a more sustainable future for us all. This is a MacGillivray Freeman film in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers, and presented by Bechtel Corporation.

Dream Big Trailer | Kids Reaction to Dream Big Film 


workshop session 1  | 10:00AM - 11:15AM | "Employment Strategies that get RESULTS" | Karen Carleton, M.Ed., M.Sc.

Career progression of most women is not a linear path. Most women likely have maternity leave gaps, part-time work or other breaks in their work record. How can I customize my resume if I have gaps? How could a customized cover letter, networking, or new job search tactics increase my chances for an interview? How do I side-step inappropriate interview questions? Gaining job application know-how and learning how to strategically market your value to employers will
help you land a great position. Leave with a Job Seekers Guide that has helped many professional engineers secure employment over the past year. 

 workshop session 2 | 11:15AM - 12:15PM | "How to Support your Tribe – Awareness and Behavioral Change" | Susan Urra, P.Eng, PMP, MBA

Human beings are psychologically wired to be drawn to like-minded individuals to form a group.  These 'tribal connections' provide belonging, understanding, support for common goals, and a clear common purpose.  This session explores how cooperative and collaborative behaviour can help to eliminate feelings of isolation that drives many female engineers to change career paths or remove themselves from the engineering world. We will discover strategies that raise awareness and promote 'strength in numbers' from female and male colleagues alike, in the workplace and from the community. 

 BOX Lunch with interactive fireside chat | 12:15PM - 1:10PM | "Fireside Chat: How to Ask for a Promotion" | Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, P.Eng, M.Eng., PMP, ACG

One of the key motivators for women to stay in the engineering profession is the ability to win salary raises and promotions at work. Research shows women often ask for raises and promotions but are less likely to receive them, compared to men. This fireside chat will capture the very creative ways in which women and men have achieved promotions and raises at work.  

workshop session 3 | 1:10 PM - 2:25 PM | "Targets for Women in Engineering - Employment Equity Policies" | Martha Vega-Smith, P.Eng, DTM

The number of women choosing engineering careers is on the rise. This sounds great, doesn't it? It would be better if more women stayed in the profession pipeline, and made it a long-term career. Unfortunately the “leaky pipeline” is a reality. What support would be needed to encourage more women to remain motivated and vested in an engineering path? Permit holding companies should be asking themselves this important business question. This session explores the concept of 'Hiring Quotas' vs 'Diversity Targets' and review the pros and cons of implementing them (whether voluntary or mandatory), by looking at case studies.  

YOGA BREAK in the grass | 2:15 PM - 2:40 PM | Join our guest yoga instructor in relaxation techniques. Meet behind the Telus World of Science. 

workshop session 4 | 2:40 PM - 3:55 PM | "Inter-Gender Communication for Professional Men and Women" | Diana Ionescu, P.Eng, NLPC

Today’s workplace is the melting pot where at least two genders, four generations and a dozen cultures melt together to creatively enable performance and professionalism. This session will employ academia research, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP™) and a wealth of experience to bring you a practical guide on how to become a better communicator. This session is particularly crafted for both professionals who function in technical design, construction, sales and customer service environments, and want to enhance their rapport-building skills.  

Presentation and EXPERT PANEL DISCUSSION | 3:55 PM - 4:30 PM | "Engineers Canada's 30 by 30 Initiative: The Tipping Point We Need" | Connie Parenteau, P.Eng. Panel: TBA.

Engineers Canada is the national organization of the provincial and territorial associations, such as APEGA in Alberta, that regulate the practice of engineering in Canada. Engineers Canada's 30 by 30 initiative has a goal of raising the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women, to 30 percent by the year 2030. Our panel discussion will explore how we can achieve this sustainable tipping point, from the current 17% to 30%, by finding existing women graduates and help them return to the profession.  

VIP presentation and networking cocktail | 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM | "Closing Ceremony and Celebration of our Summit's Goals"

Come meet our VIP guests from industry and academia while mingling with your fellow Summit attendees, just outside the IMAX theatre. There will be door prizes and lights snacks. Remember to sign the Women in Engineering Summit 2018 Declaration supporting the 30 by 30 Initiative (Engineers Canada). First Toast by: Alan Nursall, CEO TELUS World of Science.

We support Engineers Canada's initiative to raise the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30 percent by the year 2030.

We support Engineers Canada's initiative to raise the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30 percent by the year 2030.

Our Keynote Speaker: Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive VP Engineering and Program Management, Panama Canal.

Our Keynote Speaker: Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive VP Engineering and Program Management, Panama Canal.

Before the Summit, registered attendees bring their kids to watch this amazing IMAX film.

Before the Summit, registered attendees bring their kids to watch this amazing IMAX film.

City of Edmonton Mayor, Don Iveson, kindly sent us a Proclamation presented by Councillor Sarah Hamilton, recognizing September 14, 2018 as Women in Engineering Day in Edmonton.

City of Edmonton Mayor, Don Iveson, kindly sent us a Proclamation presented by Councillor Sarah Hamilton, recognizing September 14, 2018 as Women in Engineering Day in Edmonton.


Speakers WES 2018

Keynote: Ilya Espino de Marotta, Executive VP Engineering and program management for the Panama Canal Authority

With a degree in Marine Engineering, Marotta has worked for the Panama Canal Commission/ Panama Canal Authority for more than 30 years. She has held diverse roles within the industrial, dredging, mechanical engineering and accounting areas. In 2012 Marotta was appointed as the first Executive Vice President of Engineering for the Panama Canal Authority. She is the recipient of a multitude of accolades including: Outstanding Woman of the Year (2014) by the Panamanian Association of Business Executives, the Women Who Make a Difference (2016) by the International Women’s Forum, and was named on the list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Central America by Forbes Magazine of Mexico. 

Speaker: Karen Carleton, M.Ed., M.Sc.

With over 20 years in work-related education and training, Karen has offered employment workshops and 1:1 coaching for various job seekers. Her ‘DIY Career Resources’ are still in use by an Engineering Faculty at a US university. A workforce development expert working in Human Resources, she has firsthand knowledge of what works for job applicants. In her off time she coaches internationally-educated professionals in job search, resumes/cover letter writing, and interview skills. Karen’s systematic and client-centered approach yields results for job seekers. 

Speaker: Susan Urra, P.Eng, PMP, MBA

Susan Urra graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering from Chile, worked as engineer at ATCO Gas and as Supervisor at Enbridge Pipelines. Currently, she is a Supervisor at the City of Edmonton. Susan has led teams accountable for monitoring and reporting cost and schedule performance for a portfolio of projects in the $30M to $700M range. She has taught project management at both NAIT and MacEwan University.  

Moderator: Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, P.Eng, M.Eng., PMP, ACG

Claudia Gomez-Villeneuve, Founder of CGV Speaking, is a professional engineer who spent 15 years in pipeline design and construction. Now she is a keynote speaker and university trainer specializing in Engineering, Project Management, and Gender Inclusion in STEM. She delivers positive and practical professional development courses, workshops and keynotes. She is a member of Council for APEGA, Association or Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.  

Speaker: Martha Vega-Smith, P.Eng, DTM

Martha Vega-Smith is an inspiring professional with 25 years combined leadership, communication and business performance improvement experience, who is able to deliver on business goals, while fostering staff growth and engagement in Multinational Environments. She worked for 9 years as a Project Engineer in Venezuela, and in the past 15 years as a Pipelines / Integrity Leader for two major Oil and Gas companies in Canada. She is a registered professional engineer and is looking forward to welcoming more women and men into engineering. 

Speaker: Diana Ionescu, P.Eng., NLPC

Diana, founder of Gateway Latitude Consulting, is a professional engineer with a progressive career established in Consulting Engineering, as well as owner and supplier environments across industries including Infrastructure, Mining, and Oil & Gas. The market demand for continuous improvement came as an extension of her consulting practice and, as a result, she created a new division: EDUCOLIS, offering multiple professional development courses.  

Panelist: Connie Parenteau, P.Eng

Connie was recently re-appointed as Engineers Canada Director for APEGA. She was also an APEGA President where she led Council thru the development of APEGA’s new 2017-2019 Strategic Plan and was fully engaged in the APEGA Legislative Review. She is a strong advocate of the importance of being involved in professional and community including non-profit organizations related to the performing arts, literacy and community services. Over her 33 year engineering career as engineer with TELUS Communications, Connie held a variety of technical, managerial and leadership positions. She has a broad set of skills in a variety of areas including a certification as a Black Belt Trained Six Sigma.