Recently, the Junior Fellowship program started offering Canadian placements at Engineers Without Borders’ national office in addition to the placements that are offered in our sub-Saharan African partner countries.
Even though I had my heart set on going overseas, after much deliberation I decided it made more sense (for personal reasons) to stay in Toronto and take a placement with the Engineering Change Lab, a collaborative platform for diverse professionals transforming the engineering sector.
One project I tackled during my Junior Fellowship with VOTO Mobile was the implementation of an initiative to increase the hiring of local women in our company. While VOTO has strong local hiring practices in Ghana, it tends to hire more men than women, particularly within its operations team. My manager and I wanted to fix that. We knew that there were great, tech-savvy, socially-innovative Ghanaian women out there, and we wanted to find them.
Investing in 30,000 Systems Change Leaders is an ambitious and bold statement on the vision EWB has for a growing and engaged community. It is a metric that can drive creativity and innovation, but as we discovered as a Community Team, it can also lead to paralysis. Over the past 6 months we have discovered that while this goal is ambitious, it is not the ultimate expression of what the Community Team is striving for. It is rather one of the milestones we must achieve in order to invest in an inspired, passionate and action-oriented community of leaders large enough to deliver on the systems change we are seeking for our world.