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Marie-Claude Dumas discusses WSPs inclusion efforts

Marie-Claude Dumas discusses WSP's inclusion efforts

 July 15, 2021

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Marie-Claude Dumas is President and CEO of WSP Canada and Global Inclusion and Diversity Sponsor.

She discusses her role at WSP, the company's long-term inclusion and diversity vision, and how WSP is bringing more women like her into leadership roles.

"I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to foster the necessary change that we want to see in our industry."

Tell us about the Global I&D Sponsor role and what it means to you.

My role is to lead WSP’s I&D mandate, both internally and externally, while continuously assessing where we are in our journey. This includes developing our I&D long term vision and strategy with input from our regional leads, driving our global I&D action plan, while monitoring the progress of regional plans, and highlighting key global insights. Another significant component has been creating WSP’s Global Inclusion and Diversity Network (“Network”), where participants share their practices on matters promoting inclusion, diversity, equality and sense of belonging.  

I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to foster the necessary change that we want to see in our industry. As President and CEO of WSP in Canada, I am thrilled to continue working closely with the Canadian leadership and Human Resources teams as we pursue our strategic ambitions, including our Inclusion and Diversity program.

WSP’s long-term I&D vision is to develop an inclusive mindset?

It’s important to note that the vision applies to all areas of our business, from business development to supply chain management, onboarding, recruitment and internal staffing. To be a leader in our industry and really bolster innovation, we truly believe that diverse teams at all levels of an inclusive organization are a key success factor. Our long-term I&D vision was a collective effort, prepared in collaboration with the Global I&D Network.

We began by asking ourselves: what do all our regional strategies have in common? The repeated threads were then drawn out and refined to become our global vision. There are four key I&D principles that outline how we will evolve toward an inclusive mindset: fostering a trusting workplace, speaking up, managing fairly, and growing stronger together. This is the vision we aspire to be recognized for by our employees, peers and clients.

What are the ambitions of WSP’s Global Inclusion & Diversity Network?

I am so proud of the work that has been done so far by our Network. From diverse panels to improved policies, our regions are actively supporting and promoting an inclusive and diverse workplace.

The Network is open to any WSP employee with an interest in I&D matters and who wants to be part of their region’s I&D evolution. It was created so that our regions could play a part in ensuring we all strive for best practices and continuous improvement. Ultimately, our Network aims to help everyone connect, gain insight and enable change at our company.

The Network is a perfect example of the fourth principle of our long-term vision: growing stronger together. Each quarter, we welcome one of our regions to host a “I&D Spotlight session” where they share latest developments on the I&D front. We have built a common sharing platform for regional initiatives and tools, which is a wonderful resource to facilitate inspiration. It’s an incredible opportunity for us to learn from each other’s challenges, initiatives and achievements, while pursuing concrete action. 

 Within our global approach to I&D, the majority of our regions have expanded their priorities to also support under-represented groups, including ethnic and visible minorities. 

In many regions, there's still an imbalance between total women in the workforce versus women in leadership positions so how is WSP approaching gender balance?

At WSP, we are on a journey towards inclusion of all differences. Within our global approach to I&D, the majority of our regions have expanded their priorities to also support under-represented groups, including ethnic and visible minorities. However, gender balance remains a key priority, especially in our industry.

We still have progress to make in terms of our ratio of women in middle management and business leader positions, which currently stands at 21% of our total workforce. Of our approximately 500 top employees in leadership positions across the major regions of our organization, 35% are female. Looking at the bigger picture, we aim to address two particular areas - women in management positions, as well as women in revenue-generating and operational roles - while sustaining our solid percentage of women leaders in support roles.

This means supporting internal growth of our technical women to reach and succeed in management roles. One main focus will be putting practices in place so that aspiring leaders can grow the scope of their projects at each stage of the process, so that they are well prepared to succeed as their projects become more complex.

Work in a company with impressive leaders like Marie-Claude 

WSP leader Marie-Claude is a passionate advocate for gender diversity particularly in STEM fields, and WSP is always looking for talented people to join their company.

Search all the latest career vacancies at WSP and explore where your strengths might best fit.


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