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Meet our inspiring female Engineers across our businesses!

June 23rd is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED). This day highlights the important contributions that women engineers make in their communities. INWED emphasizes that a more equitable, diverse and inclusive profession improves the quality of engineering work and its impact. 

This year we celebrate the amazing work that women engineers around our operations are doing to find a better way, every day. We are featuring stories of women engineers that never fail to inspire and empower, those women who #makesafetyseen and are helping to build a brighter future.


Lauren Haley: Director, Industrial Engineering - Irving ShipbuildingLauren Haley.JPG

Lauren Haley started at Irving Shipbuilding in 2015 as a Junior Engineer and has been promoted to several positions in the past eight years.

"I originally became an Engineer to utilize my skills in math, science and problem-solving and I’ve since found a wonderful career path where I get to use those skills and learn new ones as I go,” says Lauren. 

“My job scope is constantly evolving as I grow in the industry, allowing me to gain project management, people management and leadership experience to add to my toolbelt."

Lauren feels being an engineer has grown her confidence and given her communication skills a place to thrive in a technical environment. Her advice to young women is to know there are so many opportunities available with a great attitude and an Engineering degree in hand. 

 "So don’t wait until you have it all figured out – just jump in and see where it takes you!"


Karina Sparks: Project Manager, Electrical Engineering - Irving Forest Services

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From an early age, Karina has a curiosity about how electrical equipment is built and a fascination for mathematics, chemistry and computer science.

“This became my inspiration for choosing a career in STEM," says Karina. "Engineering was a perfect fit for me, as a life-long learner and problem solver. I also found that I could apply my creativity while making a difference in day-to-day work and inspiring other women. I want to inspire younger women by acting as a role model and showing them that with confidence and empowerment, they can hold the responsibilities that are crucial to be successful.”


Maggie GrayJunior Project Engineer, Civil Engineering - Operations, Irving Woodlands

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As someone new to the workforce, Maggie Gray is inspired by the women with similar backgrounds doing amazing things at J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI).

As a student, Maggie participated in the Girls STEM Up conference three years in a row. The conference aims to inspire young women to study and grow in STEM professions. This year, Maggie participated as a mentor representing JDI and was able to inspire young women in a similar way she had been.

"One thing I’ve learned through my own experience is that it is so important to create a safe and welcoming space for young girls to pursue a career in STEM because it can be daunting as a young professional entering the workforce as “the only” female employee," says Maggie. "Inspiring young girls when they are in elementary and middle school will hopefully diversify the profession in the future.”


Jennifer SkerkerIrving Tissue in Fort Edward, New York

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Jennifer Skerker is a Converting Manager at the Irving Tissue plant in Fort Edward, New York. She started her career at the plant as a Logistics Process Engineer over 14 years ago and was promoted through various positions before becoming a manager.

“I chose engineering as a profession because I gravitated towards math and science in school,” says Jennifer. “My mother was a Chemical Engineer and my grandmother was an Architect, so I grew up with strong female role models around me. I love solving problems and finding more efficient processes for the plant, so engineering is the perfect fit for me.”


Ashlyn Moody, Mechanical Engineering - Maintenance Superintendent at Grand Lake Timber 

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Ashlyn Moody is a long-time advocate for women in STEM and has been a driving force at JDI. 

"Engineers heavily influence systems which affect all aspects of life, yet women represent only 13% of the engineering profession," says Ashlyn. "When we think about challenges like providing sufficient human resources for sustainable energy development, developing AI systems, how they will interpret data and designing the physical infrastructure that shapes our communities, having 50% of the population vastly underrepresented in the decision-making process has huge impacts on how these systems will affect people and communities."

Ashlyn feels Women in Engineering Day is an important event that highlights the contributions and achievements of women in the Engineering profession and provides a platform for female Engineers to promote the profession to other young girls and women.

"Ultimately, the only way to increase the number of women in Engineering is to show that there is a welcoming community in the profession," says Ashlyn. "Women in Engineering Day helps to show case this community."

Interested in a career in STEM at J.D.Irving, Limited? Visit today!