KWL’s Colleen O’Toole Wins ACEC-BC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award


A Project Manager with Kerr Wood Leidal’s Asset Management Team, Colleen’s commitment to social justice, inclusion, and sustainability is evident in her work and her community.

The breadth and longevity of Colleen’s community engagement has been shaped by her indigeneity, professional and academic experience, and her engagement with Engineers without Borders. Her commitment to dismantling systems that oppress and exclude led her to work within her community to mentor youth informally and through the Urban Native Youth Association.  Professionally, Colleen’s role with the Asset Management team allows her to express her technical expertise whilst engaging her cultural understanding to support all people to work toward safer, more inclusive environments for team members and clients.  Engineering work can perpetuate cycles of harm and it is imperative that we understand the implications of our decisions.  Colleen’s belief is that we have a crucial role in engaging the profession in critical conversations, to show up and be accountable for our behaviours, and to challenge the status quo.

About the Award

In 2020, the ACEC-BC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee worked with our Board to bring forward a new award recognizing the impact of member actions on advancing our values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.  The Committee proposed the Award to shine a light on the many ways members are working together to build a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive industry and to recognize the considerable effort needed to effect change.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award selection was made by a panel of members representing different business practices, which acknowledges that actions supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion are not the responsibility of any one person or group, and must be considered core to the business practice of every member firm.

Change can be difficult.  Like building any technical skill, change needs time, clear intention, and deep commitment.  Building a more diverse and inclusive industry is a journey, and our inaugural Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Award recipients support us all through their leadership by example.

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