Katelin Dzijacky, P.Eng., is a Project Leader at Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and is currently the only female engineer working for OPG in Northeastern Ontario.
What inspired you to become an engineer?
I chose engineering as a career path because my favourite subject in high school was math. I had a strong interest in aviation and I like a challenge. I also knew that studying engineering would provide me with many career opportunities.
How do you aspire to make a difference through engineering?
In my current role, management has given me the opportunity and support needed to expand my knowledge beyond engineering and into advocacy. I’ve delivered presentations educating people on inclusivity and what it’s like to be a woman in engineering. One of the most fulfilling parts of my career has been working with local Grade 5 students on a bridge building competition. I think these types of activities are a great way introduce students to STEM careers.
It’s important to me because I want girls and young women to see my accomplishments and think that they can be an engineer too! It is important for them to see a woman engineer and to have examples of women in non-traditional roles. This is especially important in Northern Ontario where women are typically underrepresented in engineering roles.
In your opinion, what does it mean to be an engineer?
To me, being an engineer means using your knowledge and education to make a positive impact on society. Engineers use creativity and problem solving skills to help people and make improvements to everyday life.
Beyond technical knowledge, what other skills are useful in your current role?
Some other skills that have been useful in my career include:
- Interpersonal skills
- Public speaking
- Time management
What’s next for you in your career? What are your goals and aspirations?
I have only been in my current role for a little over a year now, so for the near future I’m concentrating at becoming proficient in project management.
It’s also important to me to continue speaking about gender challenges in the workplace and having a positive impact on people. I want to be more involved in mentoring EITs and helping young women to achieve their career goals.
How do you hope to work together with OSPE to achieve your goals and elevate profile of the engineering profession?
OSPE has been doing some great work advocating for women and for greater equity, diversity and inclusivity in the engineering profession. There will be opportunities for me to get involved with this as well. My hope for the future of the engineering profession is that everyone, regardless of who they are, will feel included.
What words would you associate most with OSPE and why?
Advocacy, inclusivity and diversity. Programs that promote women in engineering are very important to me and OSPE has some exciting goals!
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Go Katelin – you are an inspiration to so many.