Being rather introverted by nature, I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to move into management, especially since I was the youngest engineer in my group at the time and the only woman. But I was able to do it thanks to BBA’s inclusive culture. It’s important to remember that engineering is traditionally a male-dominated field. And while a great deal of effort has been made to improve access to training and the engineering profession in recent years, there’s still a long way to go. This is one of BBA’s objectives, which is why it has joined Engineers Canada in its goal to have 30% of women on our teams and in various leadership positions by 2030.
BBA’s culture of valuing inclusion and the development of its people has been hugely beneficial to me. Over time, my leadership potential to manage people and projects was recognized, and I was given the role of team leader and asked to manage some key projects. I went successively from being deliverables leader to project leader and project manager for small to multidisciplinary projects. Today, I specialize in regulatory aspects as National Practice Leader. For our clients, I specialize in project management and cybersecurity mandates.
One of the defining moments in my career was managing a cybersecurity project in response to an urgent request from one of our clients. I had to manage a team of more than 50 people spread out over different offices and time zones. It was a complex project with a large business volume. At that point, I had to overcome imposter syndrome. I told myself, “This type of project is really something I can do, and if I was asked to do it, it’s because I have the skills and abilities.” The fact that I was trusted and supported made all the difference in my development within the firm.
Photo: Katie and her colleague, Travis Brown, graduating from the ACEC-BC Leadership Program where they gained leadership and other skills.