SCWIST Receives Status of Women Funding for 3-year Project to Make DIVERSITY Possible!

SCWIST is proud to announce the receipt of funding from Status of Women Canada (SWC) for a 3-year project to advance gender diversity in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).   The new project builds on the successful Women in Technology Project, also funded by SWC, that created MakePossible, SCWIST’s on-line platform that focuses on 360⁰ mentoring, skill exchange and life-long learning.MakePossible(http://www.makepossible.ca/about ) makes it possible for women and men from diverse STEM sectors to connect, find mentors, exchange skills and share expertise.
The new project will focus on working with STEM companies to create diversity tools and to build inclusive workplace cultures – that embrace and advance a diverse workforce.

Click for press Release of the event.

“Implicit bias is definitely a problem we need to address to advance gender equality,” said Project Chair Maria Issa.  “Companies need to find ways to eliminate implicit bias from the recruitment, hiring and promotion processes – so that they can attract, retain and advance diverse talent to support stronger economic performance.”

SCWIST President, Christin Wiedemann, added, “Recruiting a diverse workforce is just the first step. We need to create inclusive workplace environments that encourage and support diversity; environments where everyone can thrive and be happy.”
Project Manager, Cheryl Kristiansen, highlighted the importance of diversity driving innovation:  “We know that diversity in a STEM workplace drives innovation, collaboration, creative solutions and improved performance.  Diversity then becomes a competitive advantage for both employers and employees in BC and across Canada.   Our goal with this project is to Make DIVERSITY Possible.”
A critical part of the new project involves working with a pan-Canadian network of 150 Women Leaders to share local project expertise, collaborate and leverage resources to create a national action-oriented plan to advance equality for women.

SCWIST named three Women Leaders to participate in this network, starting with the September 18 – 20th launch meeting in Toronto:

  • Christin Wiedemann – a Physicist, Co-CEO and Chief Scientist at PQA Testing, and current President of SCWIST
  • Fariba Pacheleh – a Computer Scientist, Senior Project Manager at BCLDB, WebAlliance Vice-Chair and BCIT PTS Instructor
  • Anja Lanz – a Design Engineer at Haakon Industries, President of Women in Engineering (Vancouver Region) and Past Chair of DAWEG/EGBC

The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, was in Vancouver on September 8th to announce the funding for SCWIST’s project, one of 7 funded projects in BC.  SCWIST’s Fariba Pacheleh participated in a discussion panel outlining the need for and the goals of these federally funded programs.
Stay tuned for more exciting news about project partners, volunteer opportunities and project updates! For more information about the project, please contact SCWIST Project Manager, Cheryl Kristiansen:  ckristiansen@scwist.ca