International Women's Day High Tea Social

Tuesday, March 8, 2022 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST (GMT -05:00)
IWD image on purple background

Grab your favourite afternoon drink, cozy up in your favourite chair and spend an hour with some truly inspirational women. Whether you'd like to just listen, or engage over text in the online chat forum, this virtual high tea social will be a lively commentary and round-table discussion.

Join our panel of Waterloo alumni who want to share and discuss International Women's Day, and a theme that has sparked the imagination of so many.  In our every day lives, women push past norms and stereotypes that try to shape and limit us.  Facing biases at work, in society and even at home is a daily reality for women across the globe.  Come hear the stories, share your own stories and celebrate how women Break the Bias.

This event will be held Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 3 pm ET


Register early! The first 150 registrants will receive tea and an IWD coaster! You'll receive a zoom link shortly before the event.

Have your say! Share YOUR story on IG and Twitter using #uwaterloosci and #BreaktheBias

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Meet Our Host:

Jen Parks, PhD (10), BSc (00)
Director of Geological Engineering

Instructor, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, UW

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Jen is proud to be named the first female Director of Geological Engineering, a position she has held since March 2021. She’s worked 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. Her current research is focused on using field and lab based techniques to study the tectonic evolution of an Archean greenstone belt and tests different tectonic models in the Archean. Outside of work, Jen likes to row, paddle and drink craft beer.

“Breaking the bias means no putting any limits on the goals I set for myself and to act now to make the changes I want to see in the future.”

Meet Our Panellists:

Tayllit Aherdan, BSc (05)
Senior Director, Oncology International Therapeutic Area Leader
Eli Lilly & Company, Geneva

Tayllit headshot

Tayllit attended UW as an international student and graduated in 2005. She joined the pharmaceutical and biotech industry right after graduating and has worked across different therapeutic areas (respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, osteoporosis and oncology) and geographies (Europe, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, Latin America, China and Japan). In 2013, Tayllit obtained her executive MBA from École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris. Tayllit is the Associate VP and Head of the Oncology Business for Eli Lilly Company’s International Business Unit (worldwide markets ex-US/Canada), based out of Geneva, Switzerland. She lives with her family right across the border in France and is currently enjoying time off work focusing on her first maternity leave.

"Breaking the bias starts with our own actions: we need to be conscious of our own biases, become aware/learn to recognize our individual unconscious biases and lead by example. Although we cannot change the behavior of others, we should not stand back and be afraid to speak up/pushback when we recognize deliberate or even unconscious biases."

Diana Chiu, BSc (05), MBET (06)
Partnership & Business Development Lead
DuckDuckGo, Vancouver

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Diana Chiu is a business and corporate development professional specializing in technology partnerships and MA. She has cross industry experience in technology, aviation, and biotech.

At DuckDuckGo, she works with strategic partners to help grow and improve the search experience, while maintaining DuckDuckGo’s high standard in internet privacy. Previously, Diana worked at the social media management company, Hootsuite, where she led acquisitions and evaluated strategic fit for hundreds of tech start-ups. Prior to that, she was at CHC helicopter working on aviation MA deals and the company’s IPO. Diana started her career in business and corporate development through evaluating IP licensing deals in biotech and medical device companies.

Diana is a UW science grad and also graduated from UW’s MBET program. She works remotely and lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two young sons.

"To me, #BreakTheBias is to continually speak up to have your voice heard. It is also persistence, and supporting other women to do the same."

Elizabeth Kennedy, MSc (02)
Director of Water Environment and Climate Change
Nova Scotia

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In her current role, Elizabeth leads a team of scientists, engineers, planners and technicians with the singular goal of simple and outcome-based regulatory protection for drinking water, water resources, aquatic habitats and coastal areas. Always with a mind to climate change adaptation and mitigation, Elizabeth is passionate about empowering distributed leadership, innovation through experimentation, indigenous knowledge, and behavioral science to tackle the complex problems of water management. Elizabeth spent 15 years as a consulting hydrogeologist, most recently leading the Biophysical and Ecological Sciences team for Stantec, NS. Throughout her career, Elizabeth has invested significantly in coaching, mentorship and development of her teams, new graduates and new Canadians, particularly those seeking equity. Her work has included teaching in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department at Dalhousie University, Chair of the Government of Nova Scotia’s Diversity Round Table (2016-present), and allyship with accessibility and pride networks. Elizabeth is a Professional Geoscientist with degrees from McMaster and Waterloo, who spends her free time creatively and actively with her partner, two sons, and ‘Digby’ the dog, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

"For me, #BreakTheBias is about breaking my own bias – it's about building the confidence to bring my whole and best self to a workplace, a sports field, a dance floor, or a professional event without the burden of constant awareness that I am a woman in those venues."

Nasra Smith, BSc (11)
Senior Lead, Policy & System Initiatives
Ontario HIV Treatment Network,Toronto

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Nasra Smith is the senior lead of policy and system initiatives at the Ontario HIV Treatment Network. Previously, she worked at the Provincial Council for Maternal and Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children as a senior program manager. She has also worked at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as a program planner, defining services for un- and underinsured people living with HIV. Nasra graduated with a BSc from the University of Waterloo before receiving her Masters of Public Health from New York University.

"What #BreakTheBias means to me: Sharing information, experiences, and resources so we can all succeed."