Culture change

Groundswell has supported Toronto Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Sciences (FEAS) since 2013. We started with an investigation into why girls aren’t interested in engineering. We led a massive peer-peer research project with 40 high school girls, the first research of its kind to place girls as the experts in the question of ‘why there are less women in engineering’. The findings were presented at the American Society of Engineering Education conference and laid the strategic groundwork for the only engineering outreach brand made by girls for girls ‘WEMADEIT’.

We’ve continued to work with FEAS to help them deepen their relationships with undergrad and graduate students, alumni and potential employers by researching their respective journeys in engineering education and engineering employment. The insights were used to create a marketing and communication strategy and informed the establishment of the Diversity & Community Inclusion Director at FEAS. Ultimately, the work became foundational for the development of the “All-In Approach”, a faculty-wide culture change strategy based on the whole person perspective of teaching and learning. We supported a Faculty Task Force to champion the change management process using pedagogically innovative pilots and a supportive community of practice and are currently helping the faculty develop their strategic doing skills.

The Groundswell team is trustworthy, smart, creative and brave. Never before have I worked with a firm that was so talented at creating processes and venues for youth culture to live and breathe without being simplified, exaggerated, or commodified. The insights Groundswell revealed to us caused a fundamental shift in our thinking enabling us to create more effective, resonant, contemporary strategies to address the gender gap in STEM.

Lynsey Kissane
Executive Director, Strategy and Administration
Toronto Metropolitan University Faculty of Engineering & Architectural Sciences