Erin Bourke-Dunphy

Alumna, Electrical Engineering (’98)

You would think as a manager at Microsoft Corp. that Erin Bourke-Dunphy would have more than enough to keep her busy.

But the busy Waterloo electrical engineering graduate makes the time to work towards increasing the number of women entering engineering. Erin mentors young women, helped establish a scholarship for women choosing academic careers in math and engineering, and remains connected with Waterloo Engineering through her work with the faculty’s Women in Engineering committee.

Erin says it makes her sad that more women aren’t becoming engineers. “It is one thing that 10 years ago the numbers were low, but with the increase in women going to university the fact that the numbers haven’t significantly increased in engineering is alarming to me. I feel strongly that to be successful in the upcoming decades having a diverse workforce is key – it brings different perspectives to the table and strengthens the end product.”

Erin says as a woman it’s not only important to believe in yourself and your skills, but also to have a good mentor. “Chances are someone else has already experienced what you’re going through – reach out and ask for help. It’s part of building a support network which is key to weathering both the challenging times and the good.”