Lianna Mah, P. Eng. is an environmental engineer who leads teams to create solutions for environmental projects around the world. She is the Vice President of Business Development at Associated Engineering, where she has been changing the company culture to support everyone to feel welcome. Lianna provides a collaborative work environment, encouraging her team members to share their ideas and create the best solutions. She is also the Council President of Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia which oversees these professions to create a better future for all. Lianna may not have expected to become a Vice President because no one in those roles looked like her, but now she is a role model for other women in engineering.
In Plain Sight Photography Exhibition
"In Plain Sight" is a photojournalistic look at the lives and careers of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, where they are often overlooked. Women are underrepresented in these fields and are rarely seen in the media as STEM professionals. Deanna Flinn, of Free Admission Photography, has captured the aspects of these women's lives that are not often seen as congruent with a career in a STEM field. Things like family, community, advocacy, collaboration, and mentorship. WWEST hopes this exhibition allows the public to see women in STEM in a new way.
You can also listen to our podcast with these women here.
Due to current events, the initial release of this photography exhibition at Science World has been cut short. We have since moved this series online, which is available to stream below or on our YouTube Channel.
The women in the exhibition:
Lianna Mah, P. Eng.
Vice President of Business Development at Associated Engineering
Council President of Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia
Leigh Joseph (Styawat)
Leigh Joseph is an Ethnobotanist working on her Doctorate at the University of Montreal. She is a member of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nation and her ancestral name is Styawat. Ethnobotany is the study of the relationships between people and plants which she uses to focus on indigenous relationships to the land. She collaborates with First Nations communities on traditional plants and how harvesting offers a unique impact on health and well-being. She did not grow up in Squamish but moving there has given her the chance to reconnect with her ancestors’ land and share it with her children. Leigh encourages Indigenous students to let their cultural grounding guide them to a path they feel connected to and inspired by.
Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, P.Eng.
Professor at University of British Columbia
UBC Engineering Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, P.Eng. is a Professor of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on improving the process of constructing sustainable buildings. Sheryl is passionate about diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus like Orange Shirt Day, which focuses on the effects and legacy of residential schools in Canada. She is also the Engineering Associate Dean of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, which allows her to work on inclusion efforts such as getting more women into engineering. Sheryl says the key to balancing her family and her work is being an equal partner with her wife; they both have important careers and understand how to balance each other out when things come up.
Founder and CEO of Future Health Ventures Inc.
Edoye Porbeni is an entrepreneur who focuses on creating new solutions for healthcare. She is the Founder and CEO of Future Health Ventures Inc., where she leads teams who are creating innovations to improve healthcare across Canada. She hires people who have similar values and who are independently motivated because they work remotely, not in an office. Edoye is passionate about ensuring diverse voices are heard in the workplace and strives to be a role model for others. She has integrated parenting into her workdays by bringing her daughter with her, hoping to normalize parents as leaders, perhaps inspiring her daughter to be a leader too. Edoye finds inspiration for new innovative projects by observing problems that have not been solved to improve people’s lives.
Dr. Tammara Soma
Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University
Dr. Tammara Soma is an Assistant Professor in food system planning at Simon Fraser University. Growing up in Indonesia, she witnessed fields and farms become highways and skyscrapers, which inspired her to help communities to integrate food planning into their city designs. Tammara co-founded the Food Systems Lab, where her research connects with people from all across food distribution networks - from farmers to waste collectors - to reduce food waste and support sustainability. Part of her work to prevent food waste is digging through trash to understand what is being wasted and how we can avoid it. Tammara attributes much of her success in balancing work with family life to her husband, who is the primary caregiver to their three children.
CEO of Locelle
Humaira Ahmed is an entrepreneur who uses her software engineering and communications skills to advocate for diversity and inclusion. She is the CEO of Locelle, an app that helps connect women to mentors and a supportive network. As a Pakistani born Canadian, she wants to encourage women to pursue their dreams and to inspire her daughters to do the same. Humaira has recently shared her story of escaping arranged marriage to pursue higher education and a career. She is very engaged in outreach, such as leading the panel you see above about women having the confidence to advocate for themselves. Humaira regularly provides mentorship to other women entrepreneurs and women in STEM about life as a leader, a mother, an entrepreneur and how to balance it all.
President of radical.io
Christin Wiedemann is a technology leader who is passionate about the inclusion of more women in technology. She is the President of radical.io where she uses creativity and curiosity to lead her team on meaningful software projects. Christin frequently holds walking meetings with her team members to get fresh air and connect with people outside the office environment. She earned her PhD in Physics at Stockholm University in Sweden and then she discovered a love of software testing and leading technical projects. Christin enjoys volunteering her time to mentor women in technology fields and advocate for the benefits of diversity in the workplace. She also enjoys relaxing with portable artistic outlets, including knitting and tiny watercolour painting.