Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mary Wells wins Engineers Canada award for encouraging young women to consider careers in engineering.

Mary Wells in lab setting

Waterloo Engineering’s Associate Dean of Outreach has received a national award from Engineers Canada for expanding outreach activities that encourage young women to consider a career in engineering.

Mary Wells received the Support of Women in the Engineering Profession Award after recently accepting another national award for science promotion from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for her leadership of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE).

As chair of the ONWiE since 2013, Wells has significantly expanded province-wide outreach activities aimed at recruiting more females to the field. At Waterloo, she chairs the Women in Engineering committee, serving as the driving force behind the CATALYST Women’s conference, Code Squad and a host of other programs targeting girls, teachers and parents.

Those efforts have paid off. Since her appointment as the inaugural Associate Dean of Outreach in 2008, Waterloo Engineering has seen the number of women in first-year classes double, hitting 30 per cent in 2016.

As a result, Wells is regularly tapped for her expertise in attracting women to STEM careers — most recently as a speaker at a G7 conference in Tokyo.

Meanwhile, as president of the Metallurgy and Materials Society, Wells shone a spotlight on female leaders in the profession through the “Women of Impact” project. She has also worked with the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers to establish a mentoring program for female graduates as they transition from academic training to professional careers.

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