SLR Canada Celebrates A Week of International Women's Day - Featuring Jenny Graham

Posted by
Marketing - Canada
Vancouver, BC

(Part 4 of 4 - Mini Blog Series)
Our fourth and final featured woman in our week-long celebration of International Woman's Day is Jenny Graham, P.Eng, who is a Senior Air Quality Engineer, that works out of our Guelph, Ontario office. Jenny graduated from the University of Guelph in 2011 with a Bachelor of Engineering degree (Environmental Engineering Co-op). After graduating, Jenny joined Novus Environmental, and began specializing in air quality and pedestrian wind comfort studies. Jenny recently joined the SLR team as the Air Quality Team Lead in the Guelph office, as part of the Novus acquisition.

As Professional Engineer, Jenny specializes in the fields of pedestrian wind comfort, exhaust re-entrainment, air quality assessments and dispersion modelling. Jenny has practical experience performing local and regional air quality modelling, data management, processing, reporting and project management. Jenny has performed work relating to the land-use development, industry, government and transportation sectors.

We had an opportunity to ask Jenny 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?
Starting out in the engineering profession at Novus Environmental, a small company only 1.5 years old, I was the only female working in STEM at the company! While intimidating at first, it gave me the opportunity to work directly with the technical experts at the firm, allowing me to quickly gain experience in a variety of fields, and figure out what direction I wanted to take my career. I do feel this is an opportunity I was able to take advantage of early in my career, to learn from others and build on my communication and leadership skills, which has accelerated my career to date.

What made you decided to get into your profession?
Growing up I was lucky to be surrounded by supportive females, including family, friends, peers and teachers. I was always strong at math and science, and my mom encouraged me to stick with it and select prerequisite classes that would open the doors to a degree in engineering. I spent my summers at an all-girls camp in northern Ontario, where my passion for environmental initiatives started. So going into environmental seemed like the obvious fit!

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.
I think there is currently a lot of support for females to enter the STEM field, and this support is only growing! Females can bring new and different perspectives to the workforce, which only strengthens everyone’s success.

What advice would you give aspiring young girls looking to get into work in STEM?
Personally, I have always found comfort and support in my female friendships. I think its important to maintain these friendships, and find friends or mentors within the STEM field – these friends are there when you need a laugh, when you need a break, when you have a question or when you need some advice – we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

In going with this years’ theme of equality… what does equality mean to you?
Equality means everyone is given the same opportunities, and everyone has a chance for their voice to be heard. It means everyone is given a chance to gain similar experiences within their field, and given the opportunity to take their career path in the direction they choose, without exterior road blocks.