These 5 Math alumni are blazing trails for women in mathematics

With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we celebrate exceptional alumni who identify as women

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. To mark the occasion, we are sharing the stories of the five pioneering Waterloo alumni who identify as women.Jaqui Parchment

Jaqui Parchment (BMath ’87) is the CEO of Mercer Canada, where she leads 1,000 employees coast-to-coast, working to help people achieve healthier, more financially secure and professionally rewarding futures. Parchment is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, inside and outside of Mercer. Over the years, Parchment has supported Mercer’s global When Women Thrive research in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and played a central role in helping develop, retain and advance female talent through internal groups like Women@Mercer. As a proud alumna of Waterloo, she wholeheartedly supports similar initiatives like the Waterloo Women’s Impact Network (WWIN).

Read more about Parchment’s time at Waterloo and career.

Charmaine Dean

Charmaine Dean (BMath ’88) is a professor in the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science and Vice President of Research and International at the University of Waterloo. Her research interest lies in the development of methodology for disease mapping, longitudinal studies, the design of clinical trials and spatio-temporal analyses. She is also a major proponent of equality and diversity in the context of research and internationalization. Dean was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards by the Women’s Executive Network in 2022, where she was recognized in the executive leaders category. The honour acknowledges Dean's 35 + years of dedication to her profession and her crucial leadership position in research and innovation, commercialization and internationalization.

Judy Dinn

Judy Dinn (BMath ’94) is the chief information officer (CIO) for Toronto Dominion Bank’s US subsidiary, TD Bank NA. As CIO, Dinn is responsible for technology strategy, planning and delivery and ensuring the security and stability of the TD Bank technology portfolio. Before coming to TD, Dinn was CIO of credit-cards technology and retail banking enterprise databases for JP Morgan Chase & Co.

Throughout her career, she has been an outspoken advocate of women in STEM. After graduating from the University of Waterloo in 1994, Dinn co-founded Think About Math!, a program at the university that encourages high-school girls to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Dinn is also recipient of our 2022 Alumni Achievement Medal.

Read Dinn’s profile in the Wall Street Journal.

Zahra Hirani

Zahra Hirani (BMath ’94) is the Chief Financial Officer for Boeing Capital Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Boeing, and a Senior Director for the larger organization. She has demonstrated leadership, open-mindedness and resiliency while guiding the organization during the COVID-19 pandemic, a difficult time for the aviation industry.

Born in Uganda to a family of Asian heritage, she and her parents and sister were forced to flee to Canada as refugees in 1974. She and her family had struggled to settle here, and she experienced her fair share of racism and bullying in high school. However, things were different for her when she came to the University of Waterloo to study accounting. She felt welcomed and took the opportunity to make lifelong friends. Upon graduation, Hirani leveraged her skills in quantitative analysis and business strategy to become a successful accountant, working for BDO USA, LLP, and Boeing, where she climbed through the ranks to her current role.

Read more about Hirani’s journey.   

Joy Jiang

Joy Jiang (PhD ‘18) is an Assistant Professor (tenure track) in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. She is currently developing algorithms to enhance breast cancer risk prediction and improve our understanding of the breast cancer pathway.  She has made major contributions to statistical methods research, which she was recognized for with the National Institute of Health’s HIH Merit Award in 2012. In 2022, Jiang received the 40 under 40 Public Health Catalyst award and was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in healthcare for her developmental of statistical methods for precision oncology. Jiang is also as a recipient of our 2022 Alumni Achievement Medals.

Read more about Jiang’s research and her recent 40 under 40 Public Health Catalyst Award

Supporting women and underrepresented genders every day

The Waterloo Women’s Impact Network (WWIN) aims to make Waterloo the best place in the world for women and other underrepresented genders in mathematics and computer science to study, to support alumni currently in math and tech careers and spark excitement about mathematics and computer science in all youth (not just young men).