For over 17 years Heather Stuart has been an industry leader of environmental management and gender equity.
As a Partner at Dillon Consulting Limited, Heather works primarily with resource, industry and Government clients. She has managed hundreds of environmental projects from small-scale soil and groundwater quality investigations to an award-winning, multimillion-dollar benzene-related groundwater remediation.
Heather’s masters research at UW focused on in situ remote sensing of coral reefs in Indonesia. The work was designed to improve satellite-based health assessment of reefs to better aid in their monitoring and sustainability; the experience and education provided her a strong base for her years of investigative field experience.
As mentors, Heather credits now-dean Dr. Jean Andrey and Dr. Ellsworth LeDrew whose influence made her a better scientist and stronger contributor to the field of sustainable research.
A champion of gender equity, Heather co-founded the ongoing Women in Dillon committee in 2009 to advance talented women through the company. Heather advocates gender equity as an important element in corporate sustainability since having a diversified workforce has proven to be beneficial for staff members and businesses alike.
“Recent events have shown us that the world is ever-evolving. If our teams and businesses are to survive and thrive when faced with challenges there needs to be a diversified collective to problem solve and pivot with the changes,” she says.
Passionate about engaging university students in environmental advocacy, Heather helped found the Next Generation Development team and The President’s Crew at Dillon Consulting. These decade-long, award-winning programs attracted and nurtured recent graduates with an interest in sustainability. She has also worked with undergraduate and graduate students for almost two decades to help broaden their horizons, introduce them to new opportunities and acted as a mentor during their transition from academic life.
Heather also believes in decolonization and champions post-secondary education options for indigenous high school students. She co-created the McMaster I2 Science (Indigenous Science/ Integrated Science) Workshop. This reoccurring day-long workshop encourages indigenous students to consider university and science-based education through hands-on laboratory and course experience at McMaster University.
Heather visits campuses across Canada as an invited speaker on topics ranging from careers in water management to transitioning from academia to industry as well as the links between gender equity and environmental sustainability.
She knows the power of demonstrating the connection between a strong environmental academic foundation and career success.
“Environmental consulting requires people to be adaptable, self-reliant and curious, creative problem solvers. If you’re looking for a fulfilling and challenging career where you’re afforded the ability to make real and lasting change in the world around you, this career path may be just the one for you,” she says.