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Laurie Stewart

Laurie's Biography

Laurie graduated with a B.Sc. Biology degree from Carleton University with a focus in molecular plant biology and ecology. After beginning her public service career in 2007, she returned to school to pursue her passion for telecommunications engineering. She graduated from the inaugural “Women into Electrical Engineering Technology (WEET)” program in 2015 which was a specialized program designed to put female engineers in engineering roles in Ontario’s utilities sector. Upon graduating with her electrical engineering designation, she returned to the civil service for the Government of Canada as a Senior Procurement Officer in the telecommunications, cyber security, and software commodities at Shared Services Canada. In addition to her passions for science and engineering, she is also an accomplished musician and songwriter who continues to pursue music through performing and teaching.

I have completed studies in biology and electrical engineering.

I am currently a Senior Procurement Officer - Networks, End Userd and Cyber Security at Shared Services Canada.

What is unique about my job is that every negotiation is different and I often learn more about myself the harder things get. If my job were any less dynamic, I don’t think I would be developing my skill set as efficiently as I have been. The commodities that I negotiate for evoke equal amounts of my people skills and technical skills so I have a high level of job satisfaction.

When I was working in the electrical utilities field in Manitoba, I was the only female in a crew of 18 men. We were each under-going an outdoor skills assessment that was extremely physically demanding in -40C temperatures. I had to put the limits of my body and my technical skills to the ultimate test. While there was no reward at the end of the assessment, simply completing the tasks where even my male colleagues struggled was an accomplishment that I carry with me today. I had to use my mind over matter, brains over brawn in order to succeed. It was the only strategy I could leverage. That was my takeway. I am most proud of pushing through it when every part of my body wanted me to quit.

I have a wonderful mentor who has gone to great lengths on my behalf to help me realize my potential. She has helped me network and gain valuable work experience I would not have had otherwise. I have watched her lead her team and provide an award winning service delivery to her organization. Her magnetism and authenticity inspire me.

Let your curiosity lead the way! Do not force yourself to pursue something that doesn’t see your head and your heart align! And also, don’t be afraid to be the only girl/woman in the room - that is when you have the most power.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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