U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science held a reception for women graduate students on May 13 2015 in support of the Women in STEM initiative (STEM: science, technology, engineering, math). The reception provided opportunity for graduate students to meet and talk with successful women in science and technology leadership positions and was supported by Dr. Kelly Akers and other leaders from the STEM fields.
Women continue to be underrepresented in the STEM fields as many women graduates do not progress to professions in these areas. Events like this one, organized by U of T, aim to increase the interest, confidence and commitment of women who are transitioning between university and the workforce in STEM fields.
Dr. Akers commented: “The gender equality gap in the STEM fields often occupies centre stage in this discussion and the economic concerns don’t get as much attention. Overcoming the loss of investment in the education of women in science and technology, and the loss of the creativity and innovation in our resource base that occurs when women do not progress to positions in the field offers a significant upside to our economic performance. Having strong mentors and role models is an important step towards improvement.”
For more information, see the April 2015 MacLeans article “Why Are Still Far Too Few Women in STEM”, and the May 5 2015 Globe and Mail article: “University of Waterloo joins UN program promoting women in STEM fields”.