SLR Canada Celebrates A Week of International Women's Day - Featuring Christina Noël

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Marketing - Canada
Vancouver, BC

(Part 1 of 4 - Mini Blog Series)
SLR Canada celebrates International Women's Day 2020 with a short blog series that features a small sample of the amazing women that are making an impact in environmental sciences. Our first profile is on Christina Noël. Christina is an Environmental Engineer that works out of our Vancouver office in British Columbia.

Since joining SLR, Christina has utilized her academic experience and years of volunteer work to help her excel in her own field as an Environmental Engineer (EIT). She's been active volunteer with the Girl Guides of Canada for over 22 years. She also dedicates her time to the Engineers and Geoscientists of Canada and the Scientists and Innovators in School for Telus Science World. She is also a very active member of SLR's Vancouver office social committee.

She has won several honors and awards:

  • EMA of BC Emerging Environmental Professional Award
  • UBC Applied Science Rising Star
  • APEGBC — Student Member Scholarship BC Hydro
  • APEGBC Fourth-Year Engineering and Geoscience Scholarship CEMF Engineering Ambassador's Undergraduate Scholarship
  • APEGBC South Central Branch/Thompson Rivers University Engineering Transfer Scholarship

Notably, in March 2020, she was one of four featured guests that spoke at the Engineers and Geoscientist of BC Centennial Celebration.

We had an opportunity to ask Christina some questions to get a bit more insight into her motivations and achievements:

What are your unique achievements in and/or out of your field of work?
The achievement that I am most proud of is having been a member of the Girl Guides of Canada organization for 23 years and counting. As a girl and an adult, Guiding has been an incredible source of support and offered me some amazing opportunities. And now, I’m thankful to be able to give back to the organization that gave so much to me, to be a mentor to young women, and to encourage girls to be “Everything she wants to be”.

What made you decide to get into your profession?
My path to engineering started with my local EGBC Popsicle Stick Bridge Building Contest. I found a true passion in the challenge of using everyday items (like 100 popsicle sticks and a bottle of white glue) to do something extraordinary (like holding over 2,000 lbs of weight). Through that contest, I met some amazing people who really encouraged and inspired me to pursue engineering as a profession.

In your point of view describe the current climate for females in STEM and what you hope the future would look like for women 5 years from now.
There has never been a better time to be a female in STEM! Through initiatives like EGBC’s 30 by 30 (30% females by 2030) and Science World’s Scientists and Innovators in Schools program (which focuses on promoting STEM to youth), we are working hard to create a future where we see equal representation of males and females in STEM fields. Five years from now, I hope we’re still seeing the benefits of these efforts and getting close to hitting that 30 by 30 target (if we haven’t hit it already!).

What advice would you give aspiring young girls looking to get into work in STEM?
Ask questions, seek out opportunities to experience STEM hands-on (that’s the fun part!) and try everything! The world of STEM is so much bigger than anyone can explain in one sitting or you can experience in one day. You don’t know what you like, or what you don’t like, until you’ve tried it.

In the spirit of this year's theme of #EachforEqual/Equality, what does Equality mean to you?
To me, equality means everyone feels respected. It means that we are all treated fairly and with compassion, and given the same opportunities to grow and learn and live our best lives. It means feeling like we belong, even with all the amazing characteristics and traits and skills that make us unique.