Tuesday, March 8, 2022

How she hustles

Emily Mills speaks to an audience.

By Natalie Quinlan.

Emily Mills leans against a brick wall.Emily Mills says she was looking for a peer-community of diverse women leading on their own terms when she founded How She Hustles in 2010.

“When we hosted our first event, the issues of equity, diversity and inclusion weren’t top priority in the world the way they are now,” Mills says. “That’s why so many diverse women joined us in-person to feel reflected and included — they also wanted to feel informed and part of a community.”

Now, more than a decade later, the pandemic has expanded How She Hustles’ reach, gaining attention from organizations looking to engage Black and BIPOC women around the topics of work and entrepreneurship. Over the past two years, Mills’ company has been hired numerous times to amplify the stories of diverse women through digital storytelling and speaking engagements.

“The pandemic has taken its toll on all of us but indeed, I’ve personally seen the disproportionate impact on women — especially Black women who are raising families while pursuing entrepreneurship,” Mills says. “Black women in my circles experienced a new level of trauma and stress over the last two years with multiple ‘pandemics’ happening at the same time ­— including a health crisis, changing educational models and anti-Black racism.”

Mills, who is Waterloo’s keynote speaker for its International Women’s Day event on Tuesday, March 8, says that while she has no magic wand when it comes to solving pay equity, workplace advancement and inclusive policies to level the playing field for women and Black women in Canada, organizations must stop asking for free labour in the form of speaking, informal consulting and community convening.

“The pandemic has highlighted the great work being done around equity, diversity and inclusion, but also how much further we need to go. We have to be mindful not to create further disparity for women of colour who are professionals in this area,” Mills says. “For example, there may be some BIPOC women asked to do this work with no additional compensation. We can’t afford to keep piling it on for women of colour. We must keep intersectionality top of mind and we need to pay for this labour if we truly value it.”

The future of women in a post-pandemic world

For Mills, International Women’s Day in 2022 highlights unique themes different than the ones that came before COVID-19. It’s about looking back and learning from the women who came before us and reanalyzing our roles to recreate a world where equity for women is a reality.

“Specifically, as a Black Canadian woman, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to seek out lesser-known historical figures and everyday ‘sheroes’ who may have been overlooked or undervalued,” Mills says. “When we apply an intersectional lens to International Women’s Day, it’s easy to see how many stories of impact and inspiration we have yet to celebrate widely.”

During Waterloo’s virtual International Women’s Day event, Mills will be joined by other community leaders, including:

  • Nada Basir, professor at the Conrad School of Business and Entrepreneurship in the Faculty of Engineering. Basir’s research examines how gender inequalities emerge, their impact, and the role of entrepreneurs in bringing about social change.
  • Carla Fehr, professor in Waterloo’s Gender and Social Justice program within the Faculty of Arts. Dehr’s work explores the values, practices and structures that constitute workplace culture.
  • Ellen MacEachen, professor with the School of Public Health Sciences in the Faculty of Health. MacEachen examines how the design and performance of work and health systems can be improved and adapted to our fast changing economic, social and technological environments.

When asked what silver-lining working women can look forward to as the world continues to tackle COVID-19 and bear the brunt of juggling many responsibilities, Mills says that she hopes women can give themselves permission to reframe everything.

“By reframing the way we see the world as individuals and collectively, we’ll be able to rethink how to have more healthy, equitable and sustainable lives. We must give ourselves permission to reframe everything to create more harmony, purpose and balance,” Mills says. “I think we’ve learned that so many of us were functioning on the edge — a tipping point that couldn’t and didn’t last. What’s next is how we build back better.”

To learn more about How She Hustles, follow Mills’ efforts on Twitter or Instagram  and sign-up for the newsletter.

Jo Atlee receives distinguished service award

Professor Jo Atlee.

This article was originally published on the Computer Science website.

Professor Jo Atlee, Director of Women in Computer Science, has received the 2022 ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Service Award, an honour bestowed for her sustained and outstanding service to the software engineering community and for enabling an equitable, diverse and inclusive research environment in software engineering worldwide.

The prestigious award will be conferred at the town hall meeting at ICSE 2022, the 44th International Conference on Software Engineering held this May in Pittsburgh. The award includes travel support to attend a SIGSOFT conference and a $1,000 honorarium.

“Congratulations to Jo on receiving this well-deserved recognition from ACM SIGSOFT,” said Raouf Boutaba, Professor and Director of the Cheriton School of Computer Science. 

“In addition to her exemplary service to the professional software engineering community, as the Director of Women in Computer Science Jo has worked tirelessly to encourage women and other underrepresented groups to pursue computer science and to support them in their studies and co-op placements. Her work with Women in Computer Science at Waterloo includes offering many skill-enhancing, mentoring and community-building events for undergrad and graduate students as well as outreach programs for girls, non-binary and trans youth in Waterloo region.”

Professor Jo Atlee’s research interests are in software engineering with a particular focus on improving the quality of software. Her work focuses strongly on modelling software in terms of its features and on detecting, resolving and managing feature interactions, where the goal is to support the rapid development of new features, services and modular components that are oblivious of each other yet interoperate well. Applications of this work include feature-rich systems, systems-of-systems, and the Internet-of-Things.

Her research group develops theories of composition, analyses to detect feature interactions, and architectures to coordinate features and resolve interactions.

“Dr. Atlee is a leader in the SIGSOFT community, and was recognized as a Distinguished Member in 2017,” wrote Gail Murphy, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Vice-President Research and Innovation at the University of British Columbia, in her nomination letter. 

“Since 1998, she has performed service to SIGSOFT in the form of administrative leadership in conferences, symposiums, and workshops. She has also served on editorial boards and has led major conferences, serving most recently as a General Chair of ICSE 2019 in Montreal, as well as Program Committee Co-chair of ICSE 2009 in Vancouver. She is the Director of Women in Computer Science at Waterloo, an organization dedicated to promoting women who are interested in studying or pursuing careers in computer science. Dr. Atlee has made substantial contributions to advancing the initiatives of SIGSOFT and the software engineering community in general, and has strived to promote the participation of underrepresented groups in software engineering.”

Panel discussion to break the gender bias in engineering

International Women's Day Panel Discussion Banner - Breaking the Bias

A message from the Undergraduate Women in Engineering Committee.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, The Undergraduate Women in Engineering Committee will be hosting a virtual panel discussion on breaking the bias in engineering. Hear from a powerful group of female and non-binary industry leaders about their experiences, journey and advice for women in engineering.

There's still time to register for today's event, which takes place tonight at 7:00 p.m.

FAUW Climate Justice Working Group to host Day of Action in Kitchener

On February 28, 2022, the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report on the “Impact, Adaptation and Vulnerability.” It documents the accelerated progress of global warming and calls for a response with more urgency than ever before.

The report spotlights climate justice, without which effective change is unlikely to happen. The need for a Just Transition to a carbon-neutral, sustainable future is also the main theme of a national day of action co-organized by the Council of Canadians and 350 Canada.

The countrywide map of actions for March 12 promises many creative approaches to articulating the importance of both instant action and profound justice. Locally, the FAUW Climate Justice Working Group will host its event at the Huron Natural Area in Kitchener, on March 12 at 2:00 p.m.

What, do you think, might provincial and national Ministries of Just Transition do to accelerate the transition to 100% renewable energy while maintaining or establishing justice in this process?” asks a note from the organizers. “Please, bring your family, colleagues, neighbors, and friends to start a conversation.”

The location has been chosen not only as a biodiverse place that will inspire a productive conversation on justice; it also exemplifies a project geared towards resilience and sustainable community building, as the master plan coordinator of the multidisciplinary team Val Rynnimeri (School of Architecture) will explain. Mathieu Feagan (Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change), who currently runs a course on Climate Justice will address how our colonial past obliges us to act in the present. Altay Coskun (Classical Studies) will plead that, while climate justice may be as dauntingly complex as climate science, this complexity must no longer be an excuse for inaction: this would result in the greatest injustice.

Find out more about the event.

Participants wanted for presbyopia study

A woman wearing glasses.

A message from the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE).

The University of Waterloo’s CORE is seeking participants aged 45-55 with presbyopia for an investigational eyedrop study. Participants are required to attend 15 study visits over 12 months.

You will be reimbursed $35 per visit to cover certain expenses you may incur to attend the scheduled study visits (i.e. travel, parking, meals). The maximum for attending all 15 scheduled visits on campus will be $525.

Learn more: www.corestudies.ca/presbyopia.

Brubacher babies and other notes

 Joshua, Laura, baby Joanna and son Oran, on the front porch of the Brubacher House museum on the University's north campus.The campus population has increased by one this past weekend with the arrival of Joanna Frida Enns, born at the Brubacher House Museum Apartment on the morning of March 4 to museum hosts Laura and Joshua Enns. 

The Brubacher House, built in 1850, was home to Magdalena and John E. Brubacher, who raised fourteen children on 405 hectares of farmland. Farming continued until 1965 when the University of Waterloo purchased the property, and the house was transformed into a museum showcasing the region's Mennonite history. A feature of the museum has been its tradition of housing live-in hosts and custodians - the Enns are among the 22 people who have occupied the house since 1977.

The Enns' son Oran was also born in the museum apartment in 2019. The family is excited to welcome Joanna to life on the North Campus.

Etsuko Kimura

The next Noon Hour Concert Series virtual event will take place tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Fire and Feathers, Music for Harp and Violin will feature violinist Etsuko Kimura and harpist Lori Gemmell performing Wild Bird by recently deceased Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, as well as familiar compositions such as Saint Saens Fantaisie, Op 124.

Finally, those cruciverbalists among you who are habitual players of the New York Times crossword puzzle might have an edge over your competition when filling out 38 across in today's edition of the crossword. The clue is "2018 Canadian Physics Nobelist who helped implement chirped pulse amplification." Hmm, I wonder who that could be?

A tip of the hat to Bill Jolley in the Faculty of Engineering who tipped us off to this homegrown reference in the famous "crossword of record."

Link of the day

International Women's Day

When and Where to get support

Students can visit the Student Success Office online for supports including academic development, international student resources, immigration consulting, leadership development, exchange and study abroad, and opportunities to get involved.

Instructors looking for targeted support for developing online components for blended learning courses, transitioning remote to fully online courses, revising current online courses, and more please visit Agile Development | Centre for Extended Learning | University of Waterloo (uwaterloo.ca).

Instructors can visit the Keep Learning website to get support on adapting their teaching and learning plans for an online environment.

Course templates are available within your course in LEARN to help you build and edit your content and assignment pages quickly.

The following workshops, webinars, and events are offered by the KL team (CTE, CEL, ITMS, LIB):

Supports are available for employees returning to campus. Visit IST’s Hybrid Work and Technology guidelines and workplace protocols to assist with the transition.

The Writing and Communication Centre has virtual services and programs to help undergrads, grad students, postdocs and faculty members with academic writing.

Co-op students can get help finding a job and find supports to successfully work remotely, develop new skills, access wellness and career information, and contact a co-op or career advisor.

The Centre for Career Action (CCA) has virtual services and programs to support undergrads, grad students, postdocs, alumni and employees in figuring out what they value, what they’re good at, and how to access meaningful work, co-op, volunteer, or graduate/professional school opportunities. Questions about CCA's services? Live chat, call 519-888-4047, or stop by our front desk in the Tatham Centre between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday to Friday.

Drop-in to Warrior Virtual Study Halls on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Come together in this virtual space to set goals and work independently or in groups each week.

Renison's English Language Institute continues to offer virtual events and workshops to help students practice their English language skills.

If you feel overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please contact the University’s Campus Wellness services, either Health Services or  Counselling Services. You can also contact the University's Centre for Mental Health Research and TreatmentGood2Talk is a post-secondary student helpline available to all students.

The Library is open with expanded hours for access to book stacks, drop-in individual study space, bookable group study rooms, drop-in access to computers and printers, book pick-up services and IST Help Desk support. Librarian consultations, Special Collections & Archives and the Geospatial Centre are available by appointment. Full details on current services and hours are available on the Library’s COVID-19 Update webpage.

The Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo (FAUW) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the FAUW blog for more information.

The University of Waterloo Staff Association (UWSA) continues to advocate for its members. Check out the UWSA blog for more information.

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) supports all members of the University of Waterloo campus community who have experienced, or been impacted, by sexual violence. This includes all students, staff, faculty and visitors on the main campus, the satellite campuses, and at the affiliated and federated Waterloo Institutes and Colleges. For support, email: svpro@uwaterloo.ca or visit the SVPRO website.

The Office of Indigenous Relations is a central hub that provides guidance, support, and resources to all Indigenous and non-Indigenous campus community members and oversees the University's Indigenization strategy.

The Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre, based at St. Paul’s University College, provides support and resources for Indigenous students, and educational outreach programs for the broader community, including lectures, and events.

WUSA supports for students:

Peer support  - MATES, Glow Centre, RAISE, Women’s Centre - Visit https://wusa.ca/peersupport to book an appointment either in person or online for the Fall term.

Food Support Service food hampers are currently available from the Turnkey Desk 24/7 in the Student Life Centre. Drop off locations are also open again in SLC, DC, DP, SCH and all residences.

Co-op Connection all available online. Check https://wusa.ca for more details.

Centre for Academic Policy Support - CAPS is here to assist Waterloo undergraduates throughout their experience in navigating academic policy in the instances of filing petitions, grievances and appeals. Please contact them at caps@wusa.caMore information is available.

WUSA Student Legal Protection Program - Seeking legal counsel can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first time facing a legal issue. The legal assistance helpline provides quick access to legal advice in any area of law, including criminal. Just call 1-833-202-4571

Empower Me is a confidential mental health and wellness service that connects students with qualified counsellors 24/7. They can be reached at 1-833-628-5589.

GSA-UW supports for graduate students: 

The Graduate Student Association (GSA-UW) supports students’ academic and social experience and promotes their well-being.

Advising and SupportThe GSA advises graduate students experiencing challenges and can help with navigating university policies & filing a grievance, appeal, or petition.

Mental Health covered by the Health Plan - The GSA Health Plan now has an 80 per cent coverage rate (up to $800/year) for Mental Health Practitioners. Your plan includes coverage for psychologists, registered social workers, psychotherapists, and clinical counselors.

Dental Care - The GSA Dental Plan covers 60 to 70 per cent of your dental costs and by visiting dental professionals who are members of the Studentcare Networks, you can receive an additional 20 to 30 per cent coverage.

Student Legal Protection Program - Your GSA fees give you access to unlimited legal advice, accessible via a toll-free helpline: +1-833-202-4571. This advice covers topics including housing disputes, employment disputes, and disputes with an academic institution.

The Graduate House: Open Monday to Friday 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. We’re open to all students, faculty, staff, and community members. The Graduate House is a community space run by the GSA-UW. Vaccination Records and Government ID continue to be required for all dine-in guests. Graduate students who paid their fees can get discounts and free coffee.

When and Where (but mostly when)

Warriors vs. Laurier Blood Donation Battle. Join our “Waterloo Warriors” team on the Blood.ca website or app. #ItsInYouToGive

Pivot-RP Administrative staff training: Learn about key functionality of Pivot-RP for admins, Tuesday, March 8, 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information and to register, please visit the Pivot-RP training page.

NEW - International Women's Day virtual breakfast, Tuesday, March 8, 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

NEW - International Women's Day Virtual Panel Discussion "Break the Bias", Tuesday, March 8, 7:00 p.m., details and registration information can be found on the event page.

Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate, Wednesday, March 9, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Fire and Feathers, Music for Harp and Violin, Wednesday, March 9, 12:30 p.m., online premiere.

Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate, Wednesday, March 9, 1:30 p.m.

On Dwelling: Shelters in Place and Time, Thursday, March 10, 7:00 pm 

Day of Action for a Just Transition, Saturday, March 12, 2:00 p.m., in the Huron Natural Area.

Blend 2022 – Where Business Meets Designpresented by The Stratford School of Interaction Design and Business and Manulife, exploring the theme "Design for All." Saturday, March 12, 12:00 p.m. to Sunday, March 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Getting Ready to Facilitate Online Courses: TA Training – Spring 2022, March 21 to April 15 (online certificate course). Register on GoSignMeUp.