International Day of Women and Girls in Science was established to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.
At J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI), we are proud to support our current female workforce, and the next generation of leaders, in their quest for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. We're pleased to share the diverse stories of some of the women across our company from various STEM fields.
Meet Clara Schortemeyer, Tree Improvement Specialist for Irving Woodlands. Originally from Ontario, Clara attended Trent University, receiving her Hons. BSc in Environmental and Resource Science. She is also currently enrolled in an MSc in Forestry at the University of New Brunswick.
Clara started with Irving Woodlands 3 years ago as a Nursery and Seed Technician before transitioning into her current role as a Tree Improvement Specialist.
"The seed orchard is such a unique place because you're growing trees for a bit of a different purpose than a regular forest. Each one of the trees at the Parkindale Seed Orchard has a known identity and from that we can determine which trees are the best of the best ones to pick cones from, to provide the best seeds for our forests."
Katelyn Page is a Team Lead for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with our Information Technology team. The GIS group works with various businesses within JDI to develop maps and apps, perform spatial analysis and build spatial data products. With a Bachelor’s in Science and Major in Environmental Science from Mount Allison University, Katelyn is well equipped for the job. She also has an Advanced Diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from Nova Scotia Community College.
“My mom used Esri’s ArcGIS products in her job growing up, so I had heard of GIS but hadn’t used it until I got to university. Once I started using GIS I was hooked! The possibilities with GIS and location analytics are endless, and thankfully there was a great post-grad program at NSCC to further my education.”
When working with advancements in new technology, every day can present new challenges, and new opportunities.
“I get to work with many different businesses to increase their footprint in the geospatial field and put spatial data to work for them. Working with a diverse group of IT professionals, access to a variety of software, and the freedom to continue to learn about my field are aspects of my job that I enjoy.”
Meet Serena Silliker is a Process Engineer at Irving Tissue in Saint John, New Brunswick. Serena joined the team at JDI in 2016 after completing a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master’s of Science in Engineering, both from the University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus.
In March of 2020, she interviewed with Pulp & Paper Canada on her job and the importance of females in STEM. Throughout her last decade in the Pulp & Paper industry Serena has seen the environment change for females.
"When I entered the industry, most of the women I met were in supporting roles. Over the past few years, I have noticed an increase in the number women in leadership positions. It's inspiring to see female technical managers and superintendents."
To read Serena's interview with Pulp & Paper Canada, visit Pulp & Paper Canada.
The team working on the Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) Program at Irving Shipbuilding Inc. has been preparing to build a brand-new class of ship that will be the largest and most sophisticated warship ever built in Canada and used by the Royal Canadian Navy.
Two Environmental Engineers working on CSC are Lyndsay Haynes and Ceilidh Auclair.
Ceilidh Auclair, is originally from the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. To girls considering a STEM career, Ceilidh says "It's a sustainable and innovative field. The technologies of today change rapidly, and with more minds focused on ways to improve and develop these technologies there are no limits to what direction we can take."
Lyndsay Haynes, hails from St. John's, NL and is a graduate of Dalhousie University. "It was the right mix of engineering principles, chemistry, soil and water science, and obscure math; with an end goal of developing solutions for a wide-variety of environmental problems and issues" Lyndsay says. "I’ve had a rewarding and diverse career as an Environmental Engineer for over 13 years. The world needs women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as careers in those fields are developing solutions to complex problems. Teams that have all types of diversity help produce more innovative and creative solutions to problems."
Lyndsay is pleased to be part of the team that will see a safe and environmentally compliant Canadian Surface Combatant ship in the water. "Ensuring that CSC is compliant with environmental legislation and ensuring that environmental aspects, hazards, risks, and mitigation measures are taken into consideration for the lifecycle of CSC to assist in reducing its environmental impact is rewarding work," Lyndsay explains.
Inspiring the Next Generation of Women in STEM!
This spring, J.D. Irving, Limited is pleased the be the title sponsor of the 3rd annual Girls STEM Up Conference, a completely student organized conference held by the University of New Brunswick. STEM Up focuses on driving conversation about the opportunities and barriers facing women of all ages from pursuing careers or further education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).
In 2019, Girls STEM Up hosted Atlantic Canada’s first conference dedicated to increasing engagement and excitement for women in STEM fields. The conference saw a total of over 250 participants from high schools and universities across Atlantic Canada. This year, the conference hopes to spread the message of unity. The goal is to host the largest virtual gathering of Atlantic Canadian women in STEM.
In addition to STEM Up, we are pleased to begin supporting the first Technovation Girls class in Atlantic Canada and Techsploration in Nova Scotia. We're looking forward to welcoming new graduates from the New Boots for Women in Skilled Trades in New Brunswick to our operations. We look forward to welcoming over 1200 new hires in STEM related careers at J. D. Irving, Limited over the next three years.
Are you a female interested in a rewarding career in STEM? Visit https://careers.jdirving.com/ for current job opportunities.