2024 International Women's Day High Tea Social

Friday, March 8, 2024 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)
International Women's Day

Grab a cup of tea and join the discussion

Our virtual High Tea Social is an annual keystone event, celebrating International Women's Day with alumni and friends from around the world. Grab your favourite afternoon drink, a comfy chair and join our panel of uWaterloo alumni who want to share and discuss the importance of inclusivity.

The theme for 2024 IWD is #InspireInclusion. Workplaces, schools, communities and neighbourhoods have been challenged to welcome and value everyone, regardless of their differences. The core philosophy of inclusion is the belief that everyone belongs, diversity is valued and we can all learn from one another.

This event will be held Friday, March 8, 2024, at 3 p.m. ET over Zoom.

Join the conversation! Share YOUR story on IG, X (twitter) using #uwaterloosci and #InspireInclusion

Follow the Faculty of Science: X(Twitter), InstagramFacebookLinkedIn, Youtube

Meaghan Middleton

Our Host: Meaghan Middleton

Director of Advancement, Faculty of Science
University of Waterloo

Meaghan is the first woman Director of Advancement in the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo.  Prior to her that, she was Director of Development at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University and Associate Director of Advancement and Senior Development Officer in the Faculty of Science at Waterloo. Meaghan has a proven track record in fundraising, working with alumni and corporations to establish multiple endowed funds and scholarships for our graduate and undergraduate students. She led several strong advancement and engagement initiatives, resulting in a significant increase in donor activity and alumni retention. 

Away from work, Meaghan is an avid football fan, (very) amateur golfer and a fan of everything with fur and four legs. Currently, she sits as the Board Chair for the Guelph Humane Society.

"Inclusive practices ensure that everyone has equal opportunities to participate in various aspects of life, such as education, employment, and community activities. This helps to break down barriers as well as enhances empathy, understanding and tolerance."

Our Panellists


Manouchka Bucktowar

Safety Coordinator
Chartright Air Group

Manouchka, currently employed as the Safety Coordinator at an industry-leading private jet company (Chartright Air Group), is an upholder of inclusion within the aviation industry. Armed with an Honours Science and Aviation degree specializing in Physics, Manouchka’s commitment to safety is reflected in her role where she investigates and implements corrective actions in response to incident or hazards being reported. In parallel, she also pursued her passion by being a fully licensed commercial pilot who is eager to soon be part of a flight crew. With her mindset of always trying to give back to the community, she has been a mentor to many and volunteered at various events to support aspiring pilots, especially young women. Manouchka is a member of the Women in Aviation International and her dedication to fostering an inclusive environment earned her the well-deserved Jazz Aviation Pathway Award for Professionalism & Diversity.

“To inspire inclusivity to me starts by bringing to light the impact of having a lack of. I believe that empathy can act as the catalyst to naturally lead us towards a more inclusive mindset… to the point that it becomes effortless.” 

sophia dhrolia

Sophia Dhrolia

Director of Diversion and Inclusion
Interac Corp.

Sophia Dhrolia (she/they) is a Director of D&I and is passionate about building a culture that values diversity, champions inclusion, and promotes collaboration to drive business results. They are committed to developing environments where differences are valued and where people are empowered to bring their authentic selves to the workplace. They focus on breaking down systemic barriers, driving positive change in organizations, and on improving experiences. 

Sophia speaks regularly on the importance of advocacy, inclusive language and creating cultures of belonging. They have been a keynote speaker for Steps of Pride 2022, CPHR in BC and Yukon, a featured guest on the ‘Mom Strength’ podcast and in high school classrooms. They are also the proud recipient of the 2022 Women in IT ‘Diversity Lead of the Year’ award.

“Inclusion is the feeling of not having to carry the burden of masking any part of your identity and being able to share your authentic views. Most importantly it’s about being heard and valued alongside your colleagues and peers.”

samantha fowler

Samantha Fowler

Disabilities Inclusion Coordinator
University of Waterloo

Samantha Fowler (she/her) is a passionate science communication specialist and disability justice advocate. She graduated as Valedictorian from University of Waterloo Faculty of Science in 2019 with a BSc Psychology, and from Laurentian University in 2020 with a MScCom. Samantha currently works as the Disability Inclusion Coordinator at the University of Waterloo and is the Co-Founder of the STEM With Disabilities project. Samantha sits on the Board of Directors of Science Slam Canada and is a Judge Coordinator for the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada science book contest.

“Amplify women’s voices and follow their lead for inclusion work. Women’s stories, experiences, and ideas are what inspire innovative change.”

Jen Parks

Jen Parks

Associate Dean for a Diverse, Inclusive and Safe Science
University of Waterloo

Jen is proud to be named the first Associate Dean for a Diverse, Inclusive and Safe Science for the Faculty of Science at the University of Waterloo. She was also the first female Director of Geological Engineering, a position she has held since March 2021. She works as an Instructor and Academic Advisor for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences since 2012 where she teaches labs and lectures in areas including mineralogy, petrology and field mapping. Outside of work, Jen likes to row, paddle and drink craft beer.

“For me, #InspireInclusion means being thoughtful and looking around at all of the spaces we occupy, whether it’s at work or otherwise, and think about who is not represented in those spaces. From there, it is up to us to act and make sure those who are not there are invited to those spaces and then to do our best to make sure everyone feels welcome, respected and comfortable.”