Leading By Example
Conestoga is committed to preparing young women for successful careers in the fields of engineering and technology.
We invite you to meet some of our administrators, instructors and recent graduates who are leading by example.
Julia Biedermann, PhD, P.Eng., Executive Dean, Engineering, Technology & Trades (retired)
Math was my favourite subject when I was in elementary and secondary school. I loved to complete math challenges and enter math competitions. Despite excelling in math, no one ever suggested I should consider engineering as a career. It wasn’t until my first year of university that I discovered engineering and made the decision to switch programs. With engineering, I had the opportunity to apply my math skills to solving real world problems which made my studies and career even more rewarding.
Karen Cain, PhD, P.Eng., Chair, School of Engineering & Technology
Growing up, I was never quite sure what I wanted to be. I was a typical teenage girl, with a love of fashion and a phone surgically attached to my ear. I had a great many interests and my favourite subject at school was math. I loved to shop and sew and knit and any other crafty type of thing I could get my hands on.
Jessica Steffler, Civil Engineering Technology - Environmental, 2005
After graduating from Conestoga in 2005, I went straight into working for a contracting company, first as an estimator, then as an inspector. From there, I worked in technical sales which led to my current role as the Director of Career Promotions for the Ontario Civil Construction Careers Institute (OCCCI).
Anita Sparre, C.E.T.
Thoughts and ideas about my future career path were seeds that started to germinate when I was in high school. I followed my curiosity and enrolled in technical courses like drafting, electronics and auto mechanics. In my last semester of high school I enrolled in an engineering co-op placement to get an understanding for the work involved. Purely by happenstance, my physics teacher overheard me talking about my co-op placement and afterwards asked me to consider applying for a unique program created in partnership between Conestoga-Rovers and Associates Ltd. (CRA), Conestoga College and the Waterloo Region District School Board. I applied and was the successful recipient of this program in 1996. The program was a 4-year commitment to work at CRA; one year full-time before entering Conestoga College for Civil Engineering Technology as well as summer employment throughout College.
Iolanda Longo, Integrated Telecommunication & Computer Technology (2008) and Electronic Engineering Technology - Telecommunications (2005)
While I was enrolled in Conestoga's Electronic Systems Engineering degree program I had an internship at BlackBerry for the Software Enterprise Business Unit. This role turned into a full-time career upon graduating and offered me challenges and great opportunities to grow for eight memorable years. I gained technical skills with product design and strategic planning, software development, people management and release management that expanded upon what I had learned at Conestoga.
Did you Know?
Fifty per cent of the managers in the School of Engineering & Technology are women.