Let’s talk about women in STEM

by Mandy Kovacs

|“Just as we need to find opportunities to communicate with younger women, we need to find opportunities to communicate with men and get them involved so they can understand what we’re dealing with and what we want.”

At first glance, award-winning film Hidden Figures seems like your typical Oscar-nominated movie: great plot, superb actors, eye-catching visuals, and an inspiring story. But there’s more that meets the eye.

Based on a true story, Hidden Figures chronicles the lives of three women working at NASA in the 1960s during the space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The struggles they faced, both as women and as people of colour, in the male-dominated industries of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science (STEM), is something that continues to this day.

Globally, women account for less than a third (28.4 per cent) of those employed in scientific research and development, according to a report published in November 2015 by the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) Institute of Statistics. They are also more likely to leave their roles in STEM fields, with a majority of women citing isolation, hostile male-dominated work environments and a lack of effective sponsors as the reasons behind their decision, says a Harvard Business Review research report.

In Canada specifically, while women represent the majority of university graduates (59 per cent in 2011), they are still underrepresented and less likely to choose a career in STEM fields. Statistics Canada reported at the end of 2015 that women accounted for just 39 per cent of university graduates aged 25 to 34 with a STEM degree, compared to 66 per cent of graduates in non-STEM programs.

The majority of those female STEM graduates were concentrated in science and technology programs (59 per cent), but only accounted for 23 per cent of those who graduated from engineering programs and 30 per cent of mathematics and computer science programs.

However, the women currently in STEM fields are working hard to change this.

Read more  here

News and thoughts

Thursday, August 3, 2017 - 11:09

|“Canada succeeds when women and girls are given opportunities to succeed.”

International Monetary Fund researchers say the federal government can afford to spend $8-billion annually to reduce the cost of child care spaces nationwide because the program would pay for itself.

The proposal is more than 10 times what the Liberals have promised to spend annually over the next decade on child care.

The IMF predicts the cash would... Read more

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 15:04

|“Just as we need to find opportunities to communicate with younger women, we need to find opportunities to communicate with men and get them involved so they can understand what we’re dealing with and what we want.”

At first glance, award-winning film Hidden Figures seems like your typical Oscar-nominated movie: great plot, superb actors, eye-catching visuals, and an inspiring story. But there’s more that meets the eye.

Based on a... Read more

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 16:10

|“Coding teaches our young people how to work as a team to solve difficult problems in creative ways.”– Navdeep Bains

​Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced the launch of CanCode, a $50 million program dedicated to helping young Canadians learn digital and coding skills.

Through CanCode, the Government of Canada will provide funding to Canadian not-for-... Read more

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 15:55

|"Canadian youth have the talent and drive to succeed in the labour market", says the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources Canada.

ECO Canada's Internship Program received substantial funding that provides up to 50% in salary for environmental jobs in Natural Resource Sectors. The program will result in the fulfillment or creation of 650 environmentally focused career opportunities for new graduates and corporations. 

"... Read more

Saturday, July 15, 2017 - 20:35

Cybermentor is an online mentorship program developed by the University of Calgary that connects young girls across Alberta with a carefully chosen mentor in a STEM field. This program recently won the Women in Engineering Initiative Award! Visit the following link to learn more about the program and how you can get involved http://cybermentor.ca/how-it-works 

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