This past March, the Faculty of Science HeForShe committee asked students and staff members to ‘share your thoughts on the level of inclusivity and acceptance you have experienced being (female, male, trans, non-binary) in Waterloo Science.’ This was part of a week-long ‘Listening Tour’ to evaluate how Faculty is doing with respect to gender equity, and to give people a platform for sharing their experiences and concerns.
“Appalled silence is too easily mistaken for assent.” This quote by Jennifer Peepas aptly exemplified the spirit of the HeForShe Ally Skills Workshop on May 22, 2019. In the context of the workshop, an ally is defined as, “someone who is a member of a privileged group working to end oppression and understand their own privilege.” The action part of this statement is important, noted Kendra Albert, the technology lawyer who was brought in to facilitate the workshop. Ally skills are actionable responses to oppression by someone with privilege, which is an unearned advantage given by society to some people, but not all.
“You are biased. And so am I,” was the message that started off the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) seminar last week. Bias in science and academia is now being recognized as a prevalent problem, influencing hiring practices, attrition rates, and collaborations.
Each year, the University of Waterloo awards HeForShe IMPACT scholarships to outstanding first-year students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. The $12,000 scholarships are part of the University of Waterloo’s commitment to encourage more young minds to pursue careers in STEM, an area where those who identify as women or non-binary groups are currently underrepresented.
Six HeForShe IMPACT scholarships have been awarded to exceptional female students entering their first year as undergraduates in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The scholarships are part of the University of Waterloo’s commitment to encourage more young women to pursue fields in STEM, where females are currently underrepresented.