International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) is an annual global commemoration held on June 23 that acknowledges and honors the exceptional contributions made by women engineers. Organized by the Women's Engineering Society (WES), this significant event aims to increase recognition for women in engineering and shed light on the abundant science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career prospects available to women and girls.

This year, the chosen theme for INWED is #MakeSafetySeen. As we join the 10th year of this influential initiative, it is important to highlight the crucial role that INWED plays in promoting engineering careers for women worldwide, particularly considering the significant under-representation they face. Statistics from University Affairs and Engineers Canada show that in 2020 a mere 13% of Canadian engineers are women, although expecting a rise to 30% by the year 2030 [1]. In the face of such challenges, INWED provides women engineers with a valuable platform to showcase their achievements and serves as an inspiration for young women and girls considering careers in engineering.



On this INWED 2023, we proud to celebrate the skill, ingenuity and professional journeys of several remarkable female engineers who are part of the Pieridae team. 

Women In Engineering Day

Several of Pieridae's Female Engineers: Yvonne McLeod, VP Drilling, Completions and HSE&R; Karen Spencer, Director ESG; Jennifer Huys, Reserves Manager.

Yvonne McLeod, Vice President of Drilling, Completions and HSE&R, stands as a shining example of determination and leadership. Her expertise in deep and complex wells, coupled with her strong work ethic, has propelled her to embrace numerous leadership positions in the field of engineering and HSE. "Mentors and managers have played a crucial role in my journey. They believed in me, entrusted me with challenging projects, and helped me grow both professionally and personally. I'm grateful for their guidance and support," said Yvonne. They offered her challenging projects in Canada and overseas and encouraged her to assume leadership roles, which she wholeheartedly embraced.

Seizing opportunities and gaining guidance from role models has helped guide Yvonne to where she is today. "Hard work, determination and the support of mentors have been the key factors in my success. I encourage aspiring female engineers to embrace challenges, build strong relationships with their colleagues and pursue their passions in the field. There is no limit to what we can achieve," said Yvonne. As she advanced in her career, Yvonne has come full circle and become a mentor herself, supporting the growth of other women in the energy industry. Her story serves as a testament to the power of passion, dedication and a supportive work environment in building a rewarding career.

Karen Spencer, the Director of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) showcases how engineering compliments addressing global challenges. Her engineering expertise, combined with her commitment to addressing climate change and social issues, has shaped her unique career path. “Engineering is really a profession of problem solvers. I love exploring and changing things through math and science. It's what attracted me to engineering," says Karen. 

After working in the oil industry for several years, Karen pursued a master's degree in public policy from the University of Calgary. This combination of engineering and public policy made her the perfect fit for Pieridae’s ESG role. “This is the ideal job for me. I wanted to work on something related to climate change and the environment.” She firmly believes that policies play a crucial role in incentivizing eco-friendly choices and driving environmental sustainability and responsible governance. 

As a woman in a male-dominated field, Karen's collaborative approach to engineering has been pivotal in her success. She emphasizes the importance of teamwork and fostering diversity and inclusivity to overcome communication challenges and drive innovative and sustainable solutions. “Differences between team members kind of disappear when we roll up our sleeves and work together to solve a problem”. 

Jennifer Huys, Reserves Manager, is a rockstar engineer and mother. She assesses the value of reserves, considering drilling operations, costs and forecasts of assets. She also works with geologists and operations personnel to analyze previous and ongoing operations, predict flow rates and generate property-level forecasts. Jennifer found her place in engineering with encouragement and support from teachers and peers, excelling in science and math in high school she pursued a degree in geological engineering from the University of Saskatchewan. 

Stepping into the industry after university, Jennifer was determined to succeed, “Not only is it a struggle to be in this industry, but women are being discouraged from even trying. It's a bit cliché, but instead I leaned in.” Her don’t-back-down, speak-my-mind attitude has carried her through some of the tougher parts of her career so far.

Overcoming biases and stereotypes, Jennifer embraces her individuality and asserts herself in the industry. "I am proud to be a female engineer, breaking barriers and contributing to the industry." She values collaboration, respects expertise and believes in treating others as equals to foster positive industry relationships. Jennifer emphasizes the importance of teamwork, "In order to foster positive industry relationships, it's essential to value everyone's expertise and work together as a team.

Do what you are passionate about as it often leads to success.”



These inspiring women engineers have shown us that passion, dedication and a supportive work environment can lead to rewarding careers. Together they have broken barriers while embracing leadership roles and making a positive impact in the field of engineering. So, seize those opportunities, learn from mentors and don’t be afraid to lean into respect and collaboration.

As we celebrate INWED 2023, we want to thank all female engineers who continue to push boundaries, overcome challenges and contribute to the advancement of society. Your exceptional skills as well as your creativity and unwavering commitment to excellence deserve recognition and appreciation.

We must continue to advocate for gender equality and inclusive environments where women can thrive in STEM fields. By nurturing talent, supporting mentorship programs and promoting diversity, we can unlock the full potential of women engineers and create a future where their contributions are valued and celebrated.

Together, we can strive for a world where gender does not limit opportunities, where all engineers are seen, heard and given equal chances to excel. Happy International Women in Engineering Day!



[1] Women in Engineering | Engineers Canada. (n.d.). Engineers Canada. 

[1] Peters, D. (2020, January 8). The engineering gender gap: it’s more than a numbers game — University Affairs. University Affairs.,have%20worked%20hard%20to%20change%20their%20gender%20balance.