To celebrate women in engineering we asked 10 women across our diverse operations to give insight into the world of engineering: why do they love it, and what advice would they give younger girls aspiring to become an engineer.
Pulp & Paper Division
At 25 years old, Grace Hicks is currently pursing her Masters of Science in Engineering at the University of New Brunswick. In 2018, she joined the team at Lake Utopia Paper as an Associate Quality Engineer.
"I would tell a young girl who is thinking about becoming an engineer that although it may seem intimidating, stepping out of your comfort is the best thing you can do for yourself. Being an engineer allows you to pursue a career in something that you are truly interested in. "
Renee Morais is a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering graduate from Acadia University. She has been with the JDI for over 10 years. Currently, she works as the Environmental Coordinator for our Pulp & Paper Division.
"The type of engineering you choose at university will provide a great learning experience on how to apply the specific engineering principles. The work you do both - co-op and junior level - will be what builds your particular area of expertise and experience. This will grow throughout your career. If you follow your personal interests along the way, you can absolutely build a really rewarding career that makes you happy."
In 1990, Cindy Milbury began her career with the Pulp & Paper Division. At that time she was the very first female engineer hired in the Pulp & Paper Division. Fast forward to 2019, Cindy is the Technical Manager at Irving Pulp & Paper in Saint John, New Brunswick.
"I started work in November 1990. I was the first female engineer at Irving Pulp & Paper, and the entire Pulp and Paper Division. I loved my job from day 1! The work is so rewarding and the sky is the limit on opportunities. I'm truly amazed at the freedom I have had throughout the years to drive improvement. The management style is engaging, and the people I work with treat me like gold!"
Christina Birmingham is a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering graduated from Memorial University. She works for RST Sunbury as a Maintenance Scheduler.
"Ever since I was a child, I’ve been very curious, always asking a million questions: How does this work? Why is it like that? Engineering gives you the tools to find those answers, so it seemed like the obvious choice for me. I love being able to look at a situation, and see the logic or mechanics behind it, instead of just the problem. The analytical thinking that engineering teaches you can be applied to almost any situation in life."
Danielle Bourque is with the Transportation and Logistics Division. She graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
"In my short career thus far, I’ve had the opportunity to live in several cities, work in technical, management and project roles, and learn everyday. Best of all, I’ve developed a network of fellow women in engineering who are my strongest motivators and supporters."
Construction & Equipment Division
Nicole Odo is an Civil Engineering graduate from the University of New Brunswick. Nicole works for Gulf Operators as a Junior Project Manager.
"I chose engineering because of the diversity of work you can get involved with. Seeing something go from a design on paper to something you can see in front of you would have to be my favorite part about this profession. Engineering is a rewarding career that allows you to experience and see something new almost everyday!"
Cynthia Leger attended Universite de Moncton. She works as a Project Manager at Kent Homes.
"My advice to young women in the engineering field is; be confident in what you do. Do not be afraid to ask questions and to admit that you don't know something. There is always something new to learn!"
Ashlyn Moody is a Chemical Engineering student from the University of New Brunswick. She is currently on a co-op term with Grand Lake Timber Sawmill as an Engineering Assistant.
“As I near the end of my engineering degree, I am so thankful to have undertaken this challenge! Studying chemical engineering and having the opportunity to apply my degree in industry has given me the chance to see all the doors this education opens. I look forward to a challenging and rewarding career! ”
J.D. Irving Corporate
Suzanne Hohmann is a Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist with the Continuous Improvement Division in Saint John, New Brunswick. She has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Brunswick.
“There are a lot of exciting opportunities for engineers, but unfortunately many young women would not think of pursuing a career in this field unless they were encouraged to by their teachers and family. My advice to them is to gain exposure to as many different professions as possible, and not to rely solely on what others suggest.”
Rose Burley is a Data Solutions Manager with JDI's Corporate IT Division. She has a Masters degree in Engineering with the University of New Brunswick.
"Spanning science to technology to space – the sky is literally the limit in today’s modern workforce for women. In my role at JDI, I collaborate with a diverse group of engineers across our organization – electrical, civil, software etc. where we all drive towards a common goal –move the business forward. Engineering has provided a strong foundation for my work leading the data analytics space and with increased attention on STEM programs I look forward to more women moving into this area each year.
My advice for young women considering their career: You can excel in any area – there are no limits to where you can go. Be curious. Keep current in your skill sets and never stop raising the bar."
Interested in a rewarding career in engineering? See our current openings: careers.jdirving.com