Canada’s growing career opportunities for newcomer women in clean and sustainable technologies
A Newcomer's Journey,Accreditation and Licensing,Career Success and Planning
February 9, 2023
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The global economy is moving towards a greener future and Canada is one of the countries where this is quite evident.
Clean technologies comprise three per cent of Canada’s GDP (gross domestic product), and growing, and the sector already features more than 340,000 jobs.
From renewable energy and resilient building technologies to sustainable agriculture, careers for skilled immigrants and refugees, across numerous sectors, are focused on building a greener Canada. These sectors are expected to grow in the years ahead. Especially, as the country moves towards its goal of being a net-zero carbon emission nation.
The Canadian workforce is primed to support this growth. Canada features the most highly-educated workforce in the world and nearly 3 million workers possess science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) education or training. Approximately, 500,000 of these individuals are immigrants and refugees with thousands more slated to arrive between now and 2025.
Immigrant and refugee women make up about half of this figure. Notably, they are twice as likely as Canadian-born women to hold STEM-education, training or work experience but less likely to be hired into a STEM-occupation. Common barriers to these roles for newcomer women include a lack of required Canadian experience and an absence of information about career opportunities and career paths.
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This is an incredible waste of talent, skill and potential.
The Windmill Microlending blog asked Prabhjit (Prabh) Banga, Sr. Director, Sustainability at Aecon, a Canadian leader in sustainable construction and infrastructure development, to outline five examples of green and clean tech careers where immigrant and refugee women could thrive and succeed in the years ahead. Banga, who is also an instructor with the University of Toronto’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability graduate program, believes newcomers can contribute greatly to helping build Canada’s green economy and future. Below are the emerging roles Banga identified:
Aecon Group’s Prabh Banga shares some emerging careers in clean tech and sustainability in which newcomer women can succeed in Canada.
Engineers with a focus on sustainable development
Engineering professionals ranging from civil to mechanical engineers will be needed, across Canada, in the coming years as clean and sustainable tech continue their rapid growth. These individuals will need training and certifications in areas like sustainable development, energy efficiency and resilient building standards. These engineers will be working on public and private sector infrastructure projects that will help Canada lower emissions and handle the extreme weather events we’ll experience as a result of climate change.
In addition, the green building sector has become a prominent focus in the civil engineering industry as various sectors carry out plans to reduce their carbon emissions.
These professionals help Canadian industries address demands for natural resources from minerals, sources of energy, fresh water and soil. Their work can protect the public from natural disasters and protect our natural environment. As Canada looks to explore ways to responsibly and sustainably leverage our natural resources while preserving biodiversity, geoscience will present strong career opportunities for STEM-educated immigrants and refugees.
Clean tech project coordinators/managers
With significant public and private investment in clean technology initiatives across Canada, ranging from nuclear energy to automated farming and electric vehicle manufacturing, project management professionals with knowledge of clean technologies, sustainable practices and a passion for innovation will continue to be in demand. Canada is one of the world leaders in clean tech innovation and individuals who can help these projects stay on time, on budget and manage supply chain logistics will be incredibly valuable to Canadian companies and government agencies.
Agribusiness and agritech experts
The future of sustainable agriculture rests of the shoulders of skilled professionals who will leverage automation and digitization technologies in agricultural production and processing. These skilled workers will need to apply technological solutions from sustainable farms to tables. Using technologies like drones, artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, skilled workers who can use these tools to help farmers and agricultural businesses succeed will find careers success particularly in Ontario, Quebec, central and western Canada.
These professionals help build and strengthen relationships with community stakeholders, Indigenous communities and other groups where clean tech and sustainable development initiatives, manufacturing or operations take place. As a worker in this field, you may be responsible for the implementation of a project or lead the public outreach to establish a company’s social license to operate. With clean tech and sustainable development careers growing in Canada, in the years ahead, the individuals who help build public trust, disseminate information and ensure a project follows regulatory standards will be critical to the success of these initiatives.
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