Gender Diversity and Inclusion: it’s the smart and right thing to do

Neil Bruce | President & CEO, SNC-Lavalin | 30% Club Member

In today’s global market, a diverse workforce is a fundamental, key driver to succeed as a Tier-one international player. It boosts productivity, breeds innovation and strengthens recruitment efforts. Access to a wider repertoire of ideas and experience also contributes to accelerating the development of solutions adapted to a client’s needs, provides a broader range of services and gives access to sociodemographic insights otherwise inaccessible.  

While SNC-Lavalin boasts a culturally diverse workforce of 135 nationalities represented at all levels, we understand that we need to make progress in terms of gender diversity. Throughout my career, I've worked with equally brilliant, talented and dedicated men and women. The mix of their experience, knowledge and unique perspectives were instrumental in delivering successful mega engineering and construction projects.


Following the official launch of our Diversity & Inclusion Program, we recently organized and sponsored the first 30% Club Canada event in Quebec—just a few months after I personally joined the 30% Club. The Canadian chapter of the 30% Club is made up of likeminded business leaders who believe it makes good business sense to have more women on Boards and in senior management roles.

As the husband of a talented, intelligent women and father of a young, bright girl who is full of potential, I would hate to think that—somehow, someday—they would miss out on an opportunity because of their gender. As President and CEO of SNC-Lavalin, I have the opportunity to build a workplace where women have a prominent role in shaping the growth and success of the company. 

Recruiting employees from both genders will serve to swell our talent pool, which will lead, in time, to even higher performing teams. Our goal is to have more women in engineering and management positions to improve our company. And I am determined to lead the way by helping drive our gender diversity and inclusion program forward.

Missing out on this opportunity would be similar to trying to build an all-star soccer team around players who all have the same skill set. 

How we’ll do it

We’ve set realistic short-term targets, and we’ll regularly measure our progress and adapt our approach to eliminate any gaps. Within three years, we aim to have 20% of senior management positions held by women, and increase their presence in engineering and all level of management from current 13% to 20%. To achieve this goal, we will: 

  • Track the roles of women in our organization and make the appropriate changes; 
  • Raise awareness of the benefits of diversity and inclusion through training and communication with a focus on unconscious bias; 
  • Ensure our policies and programs support diversity and inclusion principles and objectives; and 
  • Communicate our diversity and inclusion progress both externally and internally to attract more women.

The engineering and construction industry has always been, for the most part, male centric, but we are committed to increasing the number of women in decision-making roles throughout the company. Ultimately, I want the most talented people in our teams who can offer our clients the best solutions for their projects.   

It's the smart and right thing to do.