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Celebrate Diversity Month: This is me, Tavleen

Last updated on April 4

On March 8, we recognize International Women's Day (IWD) – a global movement promoting equality and a gender-inclusive world. This year’s theme is #EmbraceEquity – today and beyond, we all have a part in actively supporting equity within our communities and workplaces. When we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion.

To celebrate this day, we sat down with Stephanie Jones, Gilma Cortes and Leanne Zee – three inspiring women who are making a positive impact within the TC Energy community.

Meet Tavleen

Meet Tavleen, a Canada Gas engineering intern, who shared her experience as a neurodiverse, queer woman of colour in engineering.

My name is Tavleen, and I am a student engineer on the Canada Gas Pipe Integrity team. Outside of work, I love to spend my free time building rockets as part of Western University’s rocketry team, specializing in propulsion systems. I also enjoy lifting weights at the gym, journaling and spending quality time with the people I love.

I am Indian – specifically Punjabi – and was raised practicing Sikhism as a religion. I feel proud to be both Punjabi and a woman. For example, I love how my grandma would flavour our food – you could always feel the love she put in it when she cooked for us. I love the way my mom used to oil my head for me, and I love our big Indian weddings. When I was younger, I tried to push away my culture, but it was always there waiting for me to embrace it. My culture will always be a part of me, and it’s loud and proud.

Identifying as a queer woman of colour with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), I have come a long way in feeling confident in myself. Growing up, I’ve faced discrimination many times whether it was against my culture, appearance, sexuality or gender. Now, as a Punjabi woman in the male-dominated field of engineering, it can be challenging to fit in. But I truly love science and engineering, and at work I lean on my technical abilities as an engineer to succeed. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 15 years old, and while it comes with its own set of challenges in the workplace, I feel lucky to be part of a team that encourages me to embrace my full authentic self with pride and listens to what I need to feel valued and empowered.

Diversity and representation can have such a lasting, positive impact. When I was a child, a woman scientist gave a presentation at my school and to this day, I still associate the word “scientist” with “woman.” I’m excited for the day when we can look around us and appreciate the diversity – visible or invisible – around us as strengths. I look forward to the day that it doesn’t matter what colour the hands are that are doing the job – or who the hands belong to or what their cultural background is or how they identify.

Celebrating diversity is about embracing the many qualities that make us who we are. We are all multidimensional and complex people and I challenge everyone to deepen their understanding of those around them and appreciate and celebrate our differences. 

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