“If you can see me, you can be me.”
It’s an apt motto for the upcoming annual FemSTEAM virtual summit in honour of International Day of the Girl. Through collaboration and awareness, the October 13 event will feature a line-up of leading Science, Technology & Trades, Engineering and Math (STEAM) professionals. They will prove to young women that a bright future in STEAM and skilled trades is very much within their reach.
“It is expected that 50% of jobs in society will be related to fields of STEM study,” states Rhonda Barnet, a FemSTEAM founder, and president and COO, AVIT Manufacturing. “Women in North America make up 48% of the workforce. Yet they make up less than 30% of STEAM graduates and only 23% of science and technology workers around the world. In response to these staggering statistics, FemSTEAM’s mission is to move the dial on girls in Canada entering post-secondary studies in STEAM.”
The summit is the project of FemSTEAM, an organization that fosters a culture of engaging females into STEAM and skill-oriented careers through mentorship, events, education and outreach activities. FemSTEAM hopes to close gaps on resources, improve female representation as well as highlight opportunities and options for young women as they seek successful careers with meaningful, quality & skilled work.
This year’s event builds on FemSTEAM’S prominent roster of past keynote speakers including astronaut, neurologist, and former Trent University chancellor, Dr. Roberta Bondar. Jamie McMillan, founder of KickAss Careers, and Nicole Verkindt, founder and CEO of OMX Offset Market Exchange, and Dragon on CBC’s “Next Gen Den” will headline the summit. Partnering with local post-secondary institutions, Trent University and Fleming College, the summit will showcase renowned STEAM professionals, programs, facilities, and faculty from both institutions.
“Our goal at Fleming is to provide equal opportunities for women to pursue and thrive in STEAM careers,” said Pam Stoneham, Dean, School of Trades and Technology at Fleming. The female enrolment in trades and technology programs at the College is currently around nine per cent. We believe initiatives like the FemSTEAM Summit and Mentor Mondays will contribute to our goal of doubling that number by 2026.”
“At Trent University, we have over 100 academic programs and many state-of-the-art and renowned research facilities. These are made available to our students so they can experience hands-on learning and research in the sciences, technology and engineering-related fields, the arts, and math,” notes Cathy Bruce, vice president of research and innovation at Trent University. “As a mathematics researcher and educator myself, I know how important it is for students to study alongside professors who are leaders in their fields. Trent University takes those student experiences very seriously.”
The FemSTEAM summit features panel professionals including Trent University alumnae and Fleming College students.
- Krista Scaldwell, vice-president of communications and public affairs, Canada Life
- Joanne Dereta, principal and managing director, CI Private Wealth
- Sarah Aftergood, director of environmental permitting, Orsted Onshore North America
- Mackenzie Barclay, Welding & Fabrication Technician student
- Emma Tozer, Electrical Engineering Technician student
- Rebecca Yaxley, Carpentry Apprentice
Over 600 students from Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, Peterborough Victoria Northumberland School Board and other communities across Canada will dial in. Teachers, students and community members are welcome to join the event live.
The third annual virtual event will stream live from the FemSTREAM website at 9:30am to 11:45am on October 13.
For more information visit: www.femsteam.ca. Please follow #FemSteam
#SteamSummit. Also click here to join the summit live.