For International Women’s Day we are celebrating Lynda Smtihard, P.Eng., who chooses to challenge herself on the conversations we need to be having in our industry to increase Women in STEM, develop meaningful relationships with Indigenous communities, and support the development of responsibly sourced minerals.
Lynda is a Professional Environmental Engineer with over 24 years of experience and is registered in British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. She is a Competency Assessor for Engineers and Geoscientists BC. She serves as the Chief Operating Officer of McCue Engineering Contractors: Canada’s Full Service Leading-edge, all project stages Water Treatment Supplier.
Since assuming her role in 2008 as COO and 50% co-owner of McCue, Lynda has made it her mission to be involved in the advancement and career development of each employee within the company. She is at the forefront of fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion. Lynda and her business partner, created the Training Indigenous People “TIPs” Program, to help Indigenous People become certified water treatment operators and for local industry to engage meaningfully with Indigenous communities.
Through Lynda’s efforts, she assembled a team of skilled engineers and technicians and has grown McCue to comprise of 50% women. One example is Cecilia Garcia Marra who relocated to Canada to begin her career at McCue as an Engineer-in-Training in Chemical Engineering. Lynda supported Cecilia’s career development and encouraged her to speak at conferences across Canada. Cecilia currently leads her team at project site and engineer meetings and has received her Professional Designation in Engineering.
Lynda’s trailblazing spirit has been recognized through her active support of diversity in mining through her work with the Mining Association of BC, Association for Mineral Exploration of BC, and Mining Suppliers Association of BC’s 2019 “One Province, One Economy” campaign. The campaign highlights how mining impacts the economy of every town in BC, not just those at the centre of the mining operations.
As a campaign ambassador, Lynda spoke at the BC Mining Industry, 6th Annual Breakfast Series at the Legislature Building about the need for industry and government to invest in local companies to drive innovation:
- BC should be proud to offer responsibly sourced minerals
- Industry is committed to working safely, developing meaningful indigenous relationships, and protecting the environment
- Changing how we talk about mining in BC should be the focal point of the pitch, attracting investment to our province
The 2019 “One Province, One Economy” campaign allowed Lynda to lead in supporting a positive change to local businesses in the industry and paving the road for future women leaders in STEM. As a pioneer of the campaign, Lynda was featured in posters, videos, and social media to support diversity in mining.
Lynda engages in local campaigns and committees that support the development of Women in STEM as a means to Educate, Elevate and Empower women. As an active member of the EGBC’s “30 by 30 Champion” committee, Lynda participates in the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in engineering and geoscience by collaborating with regulators, universities, and industry in maximizing their efforts. In October 2020, Lynda served as a career panelist in Langara College’s Virtual Engineer Panel, to provide mentorship and guidance to students enrolled in the Engineering Transfer Program and share industry experience that led to a fulfilling career as an environmental engineer.