Apegga1c.gif (2007 bytes) The PEGG
February, 1999
Page 6 National Survey Finds More Women Entering Engineering
in Canada

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Women are entering the engineering profession in record numbers, according to results of a national survey released by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE).

The Summary of Findings Report of the National Survey of the Canadian Engineering Profession in 1997 – published by CCPE in December 1998 – reveals that 24 per cent of all professional engineers who were born after 1970 are women. It also shows that the number of women entering the profession has increased annually since 1972, while the number of men enrolling in undergraduate engineering programs actually declined in 1994 and 1995.

Twenty-four per cent of all professional engineers who were born after 1970 are women.

CCPE conducted a national survey of Canada’s full engineering profession in the spring and summer of 1997. A total of 165,758 survey questionnaires (one per each licence held) were mailed to registered Canadian professional engineers, engineers-in-training, and professional geoscientists during the survey period. More than 41,000 of the questionnaires (25 per cent) were completed and returned to CCPE. Subsequent data analysis revealed that this represented a statistically valid sample of the Canadian engineering profession.

The summary of findings report, which provides a snapshot of the engineering profession in 1997, also found that women accounted for nearly 20 per cent of students enrolled in Canadian undergraduate engineering programs during the 1997-98 academic year. However, only 5.5 per cent of Canada’s registered engineers are women, in part, because of the low numbers of women who entered the profession prior to the early 1980s.

“We can’t establish clear trends from one survey, however, based on the findings of the 1997 national survey and our annual enrolment study, it appears that the profession is on the right track,” said CCPE President Dan Levert, P.Eng., LL.B. “The number of women entering the profession is increasing annually, employment rates for engineers were higher than the overall Canadian average in 1997, and the majority of engineers enjoyed stable, full-time, working conditions. Fluctuations will occur in the future, depending on the strength of the Canadian economy, but the current outlook for engineering is extremely favourable.”

The summary of findings report shows that the combined full- and part-time employment rate for engineers was close to 96 per cent in 1997, with approximately 26 per cent of Canada’s professional engineers working in civil engineering in 1997, followed closely by mechanical (25 per cent), electrical (17 per cent), and chemical engineering (10 per cent).

A second national survey is planned in 2001 or 2002, which will allow CCPE to begin assessing employment and other trends in the engineering profession.  




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