HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 lays groundwork for future generations

Looking to the future as Waterloo meets its goals

As the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative closes in on its goals, the University community is laying down groundwork that will support women for years to come, says Waterloo’s HeForShe lead.

The initiative’s success has been a massive joint effort by students, faculty and staff, says Diana Parry, associate vice-president human rights, equity and inclusion. She’s convinced the ripple effects will affect those who identify as women and girls for generations.

Diana Parry

Diana Parry, associate vice-president human rights, equity and inclusion


“At the end of the campaign in 2020, Waterloo’s commitment to gender equity won’t end,” she says. “It will continue so that UW achieves long- term, comprehensive and sustainable changes that advance gender equity.”


In 2015, Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University, accepted an invitation from the UN Women’s HeForShe campaign to participate in their IMPACT 10x10x10 framework. Waterloo is one of only 30 institutions around the world – and the only one from Canada – chosen by the United Nations to join HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10. Think 10 university presidents, 10 CEOs and 10 heads of state. Each has committed to a set of goals aimed at improving gender equity within their organizations or governments.

girls in Stem

Waterloo exceeds STEM outreach goal

Waterloo has already exceeded its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach commitment for girls by two per cent and is very close to reaching two others: female faculty representation now hits 29 per cent, and 27.5 per cent of leaders in senior academic and administrative university positions are now women – just shy of 10x10x10’s goals.


“We’re seeing men actively identify as feminists and get involved in creating solutions to the problems,” says Parry. “It just makes sense, when solving equity issues, that we would want diversity around the table.”

The University is improving gender equity on campus and beyond – one innovative event, goal and initiative at a time. From gender-inclusive washroom programs to powerful guest speakers and game-changing gender research, here’s a taste of some of the equity initiatives and Parry’s take on them:

  • The Faculty Advocate Program

    “The University is a very decentralized institution. I knew we needed to tap into each one of the faculties to help move things forward.”

  • Masculinity workshops

    “It’s cutting edge in terms of gender equity problems. And I love it because it approaches men as allies as opposed to perpetrators. It’s an important shift.”

  • IMPACT Girls’ Summer Camp

    “It’s been a very impactful way of moving the needle for Indigenous girls and their exposure to post-secondary education and STEM.”

  • EQuALS

    “It stands for excellence and quality in academic life in STEM and is one of my favourite conferences that we run. I’ve been super impressed by the quality and willingness of professors on campus to give their time and be part of it and the students who have attended – very impressive.”

Photos: Banner - Engineering Outreach Department; Camp image - Sylvia Pond