Two young women at Waterloo Engineering have won $12,000 scholarships designed to help improve the gender balance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
Isemi Ekundayo of computer engineering and Megan Lai of mechatronics engineering are among six campus-wide winners of HeForShe IMPACT scholarships awarded by the University of Waterloo.
Ekundayo traces her interest in engineering to the third grade, when an engineer visited her school to give a presentation about various disciplines within the profession.
“I thought it was awesome that a field existed that would easily allow me to apply my knowledge from classes on real-world projects,” she said.
Lai was the first girl to join the robotics team at her school and went on to form an all-female team that succeeded at provincial and international competitions.
“I believe that robots will become an integral part of our everyday life in the foreseeable future,” she said.
Waterloo is one of 10 universities world-wide, and the only university in Canada, taking part in a United Nations campaign called HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10, which seeks to remove social and cultural barriers preventing women from reaching their potential.