International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on March 8th. It’s a day to recognize the achievements of the women in our lives, reflect on the progress that’s been made towards gender equality, and spark conversation to bring about more positive changes. At GeoScan, we’re proud to say that 25% of our staff are female and we are actively working to grow this number. We’re committed to creating a work environment that encourages empowerment, fosters growth, and recognizes the contributions our female staff make on a regular basis.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we asked some of the women of GeoScan for their thoughts on a series of themes ranging from mentorship, gender biases, and gender equity.
Nika Pawson, Field Supervisor, Utilities
How did you get into utility locating and what advice would you give to a fellow female interested in getting into the field?
“Utility locating can be an empowering experience for women. You’ll build your confidence while learning a bunch of rewarding skills. It’s a challenging career but a rewarding one. Don’t let inexperience or lack of qualifications deter you. On the job training, mentorship and a positive work community will allow you to jump in!
Women in the locating industry, like trades and construction, can face a lot of gender bias. It’s important to let your strengths create opportunities and to challenge yourself and take risks. My greatest advice to new female locators would be to find a mentor or a group of like-minded and supportive women in your workplace. It’s important, especially in a male-dominated industry, for women to advocate and support one another.”
Yvonne Houlihan, Geophysical Survey Technician
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #EmbraceEquity, what does this mean to you?
“Embracing equity is a brilliant theme for International Women’s Day and a good thing for all companies to examine. Equal opportunities are great but giving people the right tools and environment to thrive in is paramount to the success of any company. Being able to to recognize what people need in order to function at their 100% is a secret weapon many companies overlook. Embracing equity means getting to know your employees and recognizing what they need to excel.”
Ryza Canete, HR Recruitment Specialist
What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and the industries you’ve been involved in?
“From my own perspective, I can say that gender equality is not just the right thing to do – it is the common sense thing to do. Being a recruiter, this is what I constantly strive for rather than just wish for. In addition to being a basic human right, I have always believed that gender equality is also the cornerstone of a peaceful and sustainable world. In my decade-long career in human resources, I have always advocated and supported gender equality in all aspects. I have been part of the executive team in the IT and hospitality industry where I witnessed a lot of conscious efforts in scrapping gender biases. Being in my infant stage in the construction industry, I think it’s fair to say that this space has done a great job in its effort of supporting gender equality as well!
Needless to say, I recently graduated from business school a few months ago for personal and career enhancement. What I witnessed there was heartwarming and truly encouraging for women. More and more women are taking the career leap and entering the leadership ladder. There has been so much good progress on this aspect, for which I am personally thankful for!”