Sometimes, we don’t know what we’re missing until we look.

A missing umbrella is no big deal until it rains. An executive panel full of male faces may be accepted without a second thought, until someone has the audacity to question the absence of diverse voices.

Unintentional bias is like that. It’s a part of our culture that feels so comfortable that we tend not to notice. It becomes engrained in our social norms, so that non-normative items or individuals are overlooked, dismissed or somehow seen as lacking.

The Fall 2015 issue of Waterloo Magazine is part of a growing wave of initiatives aimed at changing and challenging norms that have for too long excluded more than half of the population.

Female reseachers

Sue Ann Campbell, Nerissa Wong, Beth Coleman, Lan Wei, Edith Law and Jean Andrey are among the researchers, scholars and leaders profiled in this issue.

Changing the face of STEM education,” looks at efforts taking place across campus and beyond to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed — especially in areas like science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

 “Building a better workplace,” features experts who discuss how employment equity remains elusive — and why businesses that support change stand to benefit.

This issue also celebrates the extraordinary contributions of established and emerging Waterloo researchers —who also happen to be women — in “Ceiling-breakers.” And, from the head of the Royal Canadian Mint to an aspiring astronaut, you’ll find outstanding examples of leading alumni in the Alumni Profiles.

Cover of the fall issure of Waterloo Magazine - links to magazine websiteHopefully, this issue of Waterloo Magazine helps you look at the world in a different way. It’s a conversation we need to have, and one you can join on social media, using the hashtag #UWCeilingBreakers.