Feb 27, 2023

Ingenious women – Mina Shahraki

  • Article

"Growing up in Iran with a family background in biology and medicine, it was expected of me to pursue a profession as a medical doctor. However, my passion for math and physics, as well as my desire to create safe environments, drew me to the field of civil engineering. I wanted to learn how to design structures that could withstand any external conditions and provide safety for those inside. Despite the societal pressure to conform to traditional gender roles, my parents encouraged me to pursue my interests and supported my decision to study civil engineering. They firmly believed that their daughters should have the freedom to pursue their dreams without limitations.

  1. As a young girl, my mother instilled in me the importance of embracing my individuality, which has given me tremendous strength throughout my life. This belief propelled me forward as I pursued advanced degrees and a career in Iran, and I refused to let gender stereotypes hold me back. I remained focused on my goals and worked tirelessly to achieve them with unwavering confidence. I kept the same mindset even after moving to Canada, knowing exactly what I wanted to achieve and choosing to believe in myself every step of the way.

    I often remind myself of this advice and actively apply it to my work. I strongly believe that every individual has a unique quality that they can bring to the table, and it’s through these diverse perspectives that our teams can create a more equitable and inclusive society.

    During my time at university, I developed a deep fascination for sustainability and its potential impact on our planet. As a structural engineer, I soon realized that I could channel this passion into the field of hydroelectric and renewable energy projects, which could benefit the community by promoting health and safety while supporting the global energy transition. The fight against climate change has become my biggest motivation. I am convinced that my work has a direct impact on people, the environment and the economy, and that these three pillars are inextricably linked and must work in tandem to make a difference.

    I am consistently inspired by the next generation of engineers. They possess an abundance of energy, passion, intelligence and an unwavering commitment to environmental consciousness. Despite the daunting global challenges we face, their innovative and forward-thinking approaches have revolutionized our methods and solutions. Witnessing these engineers in action fills me with a great sense of optimism. To make a lasting impact, we require both boldness and experience, and the intergenerational collaboration we have fostered is crucial in building a better world."

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