Montreal: November 12 – 14, 2019
SCWIST GENC Leaders (left to right) Fariba Pacheleh, Anja Lanz and Christin Wiedemann
Leaders from SCWIST (Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology) are in Montreal this week for the final meeting of the Gender Equality Network Canada (GENC) – a three-year initiative to create a national gender equality network and develop a national action plan to advance gender equality.
The project is funded by the Federal Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE) and leverages the experiences, expertise, and aspirations of 150 women leaders from across Canada. SCWIST is represented by Dr. Christin Wiedemann, Anja Lanz and Fariba Pacheleh, who have participated in five national meetings, and continuously collaborated with other leaders in working groups, focusing on removing barriers for women in leadership roles, women in trades, and women in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
Dr. Christin Wiedemann, Past President of SCWIST states, “These three years have been an incredible journey, and I am grateful for this opportunity to learn from such a diverse group of women and organizations. The work does not end here though. Through SCWIST, we will continue working for the implementation of the national action plan, and a more equitable society.”
SCWIST also received funding from WAGE for Make DIVERSITY Possible, a project that provides tools for STEM organizations to access a diverse talent pool, and to create an inclusive culture where everyone can thrive and prosper. Diversity by Design workshops engage men and women to examine the business case for diversity, understand unconscious bias, explore best practices and work together to develop solutions to advance diversity and inclusion. SCWIST works with each organization to create a Roadmap to Success that attracts and promotes diverse talent, and creates an inclusive culture with flexible workplace policies to support diversity. The SCWIST team had the opportunity to share Make DIVERSITY Possible project results with Honourable Minister Monsef from WAGE during a visit in August to showcase SCWIST programs, engage community leaders, and learn from the experiences of industry partners.
SCWIST Project Manager, Cheryl Kristiansen, P. Eng., emphasizes the importance of women and men working together to advance gender equality, and explains that there is a strong business case for gender equality since “Diversity drives innovation, collaboration, creative solutions and economic growth. Diversity is a competitive advantage for individuals and organizations.”
SCWIST was founded in 1981 as a not-for-profit association to encourage the participation of women and girls in STEM. SCWIST has a spectacular record of increasing the numbers, retention and advancement of women through networking, mentoring and advocating for flexible workplace policies. SCWIST highlights opportunities, achievements and positive messages about women in STEM fields, raises public awareness and guides policy implementation to advance gender equality.
SCWIST – Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology