Meet Megan Owen-Evans, President of Fibreco Export Inc. and member of the Waterfront DEI Council!
Megan has worked in the waterfront industry for 25 years and has had a unique experience as a woman in a historically male-dominated industry. In a recent interview, she shared her insights about being a woman in the waterfront industry and the important role DE&I has played in her journey. Read on to learn more about Megan and her empowering story.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and the significance that DE&I holds for you.
My name is Megan, I was born and raised in B.C., and I’ve worked on the waterfront for 25 years – the majority of that time in the grain industry and most recently as President of Fibreco since June of 2020. As a female who has come through the ranks starting as a labourer and working my way up to GM at Cascadia and now President at Fibreco, DE&I holds a great deal of significance to me. The waterfront has largely been a male-dominated environment and I have had to navigate that atmosphere as a female when there weren’t many others to look to.
2. How did you get started working in this industry?
In 1997 I started working at Cascadia Terminal (grain) as a general labourer. I had no connections in the industry but had recently completed my Occupational First Aid Level 3 which I think assisted in getting me an interview.
3. Why are you passionate about DE&I?
I believe that Canada is such an amazing place to live because we welcome people of different ethnicities, race, and cultures and we strive to be fair and equitable regardless of gender, physical ability or sexual orientation. We still have a long way to go, but I think the fact that this initiative is being driven amongst a long-standing male-dominated environment shows how serious those involved are about making change. I have been so fortunate throughout my career to have never felt I was held back due to my gender and have been surrounded by people who encouraged me and assisted me in achieving my goals. I would like to be able to mentor others in the same way and help break down those barriers that still exist so we can have a truly diverse, inclusive and equitable waterfront that others might hope to emulate.
4. As you know, working with people from different backgrounds or cultures can present unique opportunities for collaboration and creativity. Describe a time where a project or decision you made was enhanced by including diverse perspectives.
We have a very diverse team at Fibreco and have representation from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and age groups. I feel as though every decision is enhanced by way of this diversity since different backgrounds and experiences bring with them different learnings and when those learnings are shared you become a stronger team and are capable of making better and more well-informed decisions.
5. How do you use your professional credibility to bring attention to and/or support/stand up for DE&I in your organization?
I am a member of the Waterfront DEI Council so have lent my voice and opinions to the initiatives of that group. I proudly show my membership as part of my email signature, and I share information from the council on relevant platforms. A number of members of our Fibreco team will be completing the DE&I Allyship training in the new year and Fibreco is working on formalization of a DE&I Policy.
6. What excites you the most about the future of DE&I on the waterfront?
This progression is long overdue and BCMEA has done such a great job in taking the lead on such a powerful and impactful initiative. The members of the BCMEA collectively have a large voice and when they all come together, I can’t help but be excited about what we can achieve. I think if we are able to make great strides in this environment where change has not always been welcomed, it will demonstrate that it’s possible anywhere.