Alberta woman’s career in male-dominated profession inspired by father
15, Jun, 2020
EDMONTON, June 15, 2020 – The expression, like father, like daughter, rings true for Emilee Kaupp. Thanks to her father’s guidance and encouragement, she chose a career path similar to his within a traditionally male-dominated profession.
Kaupp, 25, is a civil engineering technologist who, after completing her education at Lethbridge College in 2014 and earning her certified engineering technologist (CET) designation from the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET), is now involved in civil and municipal projects. Most recently, she was elected to ASET’s council - one of the youngest ASET members to assume that role.
“My father, Doug Kaupp, is the core of my inspiration for me entering the engineering technology profession,” said Kaupp. “He is a chemical engineer with the City of Lethbridge and has always expressed pride and joy in the work he does. This made my view on the industry very positive from day one.”
She is currently the project on-site resident for the University Drive Twinning Project, which includes the expansion of one of the primary arterial roads on Lethbridge’s west side from two lanes to four lanes with new traffic signals installed at three intersections and expansion of a single lane roundabout to a two-lane roundabout.
Kaupp spends most days working on a construction site where she is responsible for daily site inspection, field design adjustments, monitoring quality and progress, calculations of quantities, and liaison with the public and clients.
Her early exposure to engineering and engineering technology - two individual, related professions that commonly work side by side - led to where she is today. As a child, she loved math, science, and going to work with her father at the water treatment plant. She says the guys he worked with became her second family.
When she was in high school and deciding on what post-secondary program to pursue, her father arranged for her to job shadow a female engineering technologist from a consulting firm over the course of an afternoon.
“This gave me hands-on experience of what work I could possibly be doing after finishing high school. After that experience, it was a no-brainer that this was the path for me,” said Kaupp.
She didn’t let the fact that she was entering a traditionally male-dominated profession deter her. It had always been communicated to her from a young age that, regardless of gender, career opportunities are endless. With that upbringing, she gained the confidence that she has today. She’s not sure why more young women do not see civil engineering technology - or any engineering technology discipline - as a desirable career path but she is hoping to lead by example.
There is still ground to be gained by women working in the engineering technology profession. ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh says that 12 per cent of its membership is female - the highest percentage of its provincial counterparts - and is hoping that will eventually improve. ASET has introduced initiatives geared to support women in technology, including teleforums designed to empower women engineering technologists in their workplaces.
“Both in her professional work and her leadership as an ASET council member, Emilee Kaupp is an outstanding role model for young women who seek to do something extraordinary with their lives,” said Cavanaugh. “Engineering technology offers career paths that are creative, rewarding, well-paid and contribute to the common good. Without the valuable contributions of Emilee and women like her, services and processes we take for granted in Alberta would simply not work.”
Kaupp says that an engineering technology diploma and designation opens up limitless career options for women, including specializations in material testing, urban planning, transportation, environmental, urban infrastructure, being a designer or project manager, managing people, construction management, marketing and proposal development.
“There are many ways to be successful with this education. I think the key to attracting more women to the profession is to have those currently in it become ambassadors to increase awareness and cultivate interest in this exciting career path. Just like my father did for me,” said Kaupp.
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 16,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET