Ontario Society of Professional Engineers

OSPE Promotes Gender Equity in Engineering 

The engineering industry comprises approximately 14% practicing female engineers. One third of engineer graduates never enter the field due to their perceptions of the industry being inflexible and non-supportive of women, while one half of female engineers leave due to working conditions, lack of advancement, or low salary. On behalf of their members and in partnership with Women and Gender Equality Canada, Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) wanted to address this problem. OSPE established a project to improve equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) performance in engineering companies and support women to stay in the engineering field. Increasing gender equity in engineering not only addresses a shortage of workers but can also increase industry innovation due to more diverse views when tackling problems.

The focus of the project was influencing public sector buyers to increase EDI performance requirements in their public infrastructure projects. Public sector organizations are the largest spenders on infrastructure and, therefore, engineering services, so they are a powerful lever in the engineering industry. OSPE engaged Reeve Consulting as experts in public sector procurement to support them in their work to influence public sector procurement processes and increase EDI requirements in public projects.

Reeve provided in-depth training on public sector procurement processes, and the topics of EDI, then provided the staff with opportunities to implement their knowledge through activities, and an in-person workshop.

Reeve Consulting provided the following deliverables:

  1. eLearning program for OSPE team
  2. Webinar #1 Public sector procurement processes and how to implement EDI into procurement
  3. Webinar #2 – Skills for delivering an advocacy campaign with public sector organizations
  4. Half-day In-Person Workshop– Campaign strategy and implementation

The eLearning program provided OSPE staff with adequate background information regarding sustainable procurement. This information was provided through videos and reading materials to equip them for the webinars.

Webinar #1 dived into the world of procurement- understanding public sector procurement, and how sustainability is implemented specifically in construction service contracts. Webinar #2 allowed staff to learn more about the topics of EDI, specifically related to EDI performance in suppliers, how engineering firms could respond to procurement criteria, and how women would benefit from EDI policies, procedures and initiatives.

Through the in-person workshop in Toronto, Reeve Consulting ensured that the advocacy staff had a deep understanding of the procurement processes and were confident talking about equity, diversity, and inclusion in procurement. To build on this knowledge and to activate the learning, Reeve guided OSPE staff with activities to confidently deliver their value proposition and to be aware of potential public sector concerns. OSPE used stakeholder maps to prioritize advocacy engagements, drawing on Reeve’s established network of public sector clients.

Reeve Consulting concluded the project with OSPE advocacy staff feeling confident and well-prepared to engage with stakeholders after the delivery of the project.

Asian Development Bank

Sustainable Procurement Strategy Peer Review and Training 

Asian Development Bank (ADB) wants to use its influence as a major financer of infrastructure projects to advance a host of sustainability objectives as articulated in their ADB 2030 Strategy. Part of their success will be helping their clients effectively apply sustainable procurement principles within the bidding and contracting phases of various projects. To effectively play this role, ADB needed to address a skills and knowledge gap that existed within their staff related to leading practices in sustainable procurement. Reeve Consulting was retained to create tools and training programs to help develop confidence with their internal staff, contractors, and stakeholders to integrate sustainability into procurement processes and decisions.

In phase 1 of the project, ADB had an internal Strategic Procurement Planning Guide, but needed advisory services to review the document for quality assurance. Reeve played an expert advisor role to ensure the Guidance document was customized and effectively presented.

In phase 2, ADB determined the need for staff to be confident in identifying sustainability risks and assessments in project supply chains. Staff, contractors, and stakeholders mentioned that their most common barriers to integrating sustainability into their procurement process was lack of time and understanding of how to introduce sustainability criteria into the project.

After revision of the document, Reeve was chosen by ADB to host a series of virtual and in-person training sessions for ADB staff, contractors and external stakeholders in Jakarta and Manila. The goal of these training sessions is to support on-going learning, specifically in behavior change to embed sustainability in their project procurement process. A series of tools were used to deliver these sessions from e-learning modules, and webinars, to in-person workshops, case studies and seminars.

The learning sessions were broken up into 6 courses to target the appropriate.

Courses included:

  • E-Learning Materials
  • Basic Procurement Course
  • Comprehensive Sustainable Procurement Course
  • Project-Specific Sustainable Procurement Training
  • Executive and Management Level Sustainable Procurement Briefing
  • Market Facing Course

Reeve performed pre- and post-training learning assessment to measure the effectiveness of achieving learner desired outcomes. Groups that receiving training became well-oriented with the process of integrating sustainability into the planning process of large infrastructure projects, from conducting sustainability risk assessments to translating risks and opportunities into purchasing criteria. The ADB learning group is now well equipped to incorporate meaningful sustainable procurement decisions to improve economic development within Southeast Asia.

Next steps: Reeve is excited to continue this work with ADB in 2023 with plans for full scale deployment of the Sustainable Procurement processes and procedures. We are excited to see ADB continue the Sustainable Procurement movement across Southeast Asia!