Companies are going to have to do some radical rethinking if they want to attract--and keep-highly qualified staff. They must start investing much more heavily in training and retraining; start paying competitive and equitable salaries to all their staff, and being more responsible to the changing family structure in Canada, providing benefits employees need, like on-site daycare (Frank McKenna, Premier of New Brunswick, CCWE Conference).

In Chapters 13 through 17, we examine the recruitment, retention and career development of women engineers. While our recommendations apply primarily to the situation of women engineers, implementing them will affect the entire working environment in positive ways. Recommendations focus on changing the corporate environment, recruiting and promoting women engineers, instituting family-friendly policies, and adopting and enforcing harassment policies. Employers who implement these recommendations will be better able to compete for human resources and to enhance productivity. The most successful companies now and in the future will have the greatest range and depth of technical skills in their workforce, and that will require women-friendly policies and practices.

The qualitative results [of a study of women engineers in Quebec] show that discrimination is gradually disappearing, but sexist attitudes are still present both in universities and in the workplace. It seems quite clear that too many managers have not yet integrated the presence of women engineers in their management methods. Women engineers adopt various strategies in the face of these difficulties, from resignation to action leading to a change in jobs. In other situations, they opt for conciliation and good humour. Women engineers questioned said they have to work harder than men for their competence to be recognized. Mien their efforts are not rewarded with promotion, they work even harder to gain fairer treatment (Danielle Dagenais-Pérusse, Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, CCWE Conference).

Several recommendations are based on action already taken in the public and private sectors (Appendix C). By setting an example and experimenting with new approaches in the workplace, some employers have helped the CCWE develop realistic and practical proposals to improve the environment for and participation of women engineers.

Creating supportive working environments is especially important because women engineers comprise a minority. In December 1990, women represented 3.4 percent of the 124,511 registered professional engineers in Canada. Some provinces have a greater percentage of women engineers than others (Table 16).

Chapter 13 - Cultural Change
Chapter 14 - Fairnesss in Recruitment and Selection
Chapter 15 - Developing Careers
Chapter 16 - Policies for Parents
Chapter 17 - Freedom from Harassment