Erin Bourke-Dunphy is regarded as a visionary who is deeply committed to increasing the number of women entering engineering. To create more diversity within the profession, Bourke-Dunphy (BASc '98) has mentored many young women and was behind the establishment of a scholarship for women choosing academic careers in math and engineering.
As a manager at Microsoft Corp. in Redmond, Washington, Bourke-Dunphy has maintained her connection to the Faculty of Engineering through her work with the University of Waterloo's Women in Engineering committee. She is also a University of Waterloo donor and a lead volunteer for Campaign Waterloo's Microsoft Campaign.
"As a woman in the high-tech industry, one can't help but look around and see a decline in women entering the field. The decreasing ability to build diverse teams has a direct impact on the quality of results I can deliver as a manager," she says.
Bourke-Dunphy's fondest memories are the times with friends spent working together to complete labs and assignments, organizing EngSoc events, or relaxing on a Friday afternoon over a beer in P.O.E.T.S. "You never lacked having someone by your side to help you succeed and have fun along the way."
Bourke-Dunphy was happy to discover a strong community of the University of Waterloo alumni at Microsoft Corp. and continues to enrich the U.S. group with her enthusiasm and ideas. "I have observed the respect the Waterloo name generates," she says. "We've created a name for ourselves and being part of continuing to build this strong community is important to me."