What do you think needs to change to gain equality in STEM fields, particularly engineering?
I hope that the number of women studying and practicing engineering grows and reaches the same proportion of women in the society. Women are capable of tackling any challenges in these fields but not only do they need more support, encouragement and recognition from teachers, colleagues, and superiors but also at home. Women Role Models play a major role for both men and women in Engineering. I capitalize on being a role model and engage in many outreach activities, and for that, I received, in 2014, the first Partners In Research (PIR) “Engineering Ambassador” award.
Universities and institutions must put in place measures to remove hidden barriers for women’s progress in these fields and promote equal pay for work of equal value. They must offer them leadership training and opportunities including recruiting more women, facilitating their career progress, appointing more female faculty members and senior research chairs, and promoting and celebrating their successes. Outreach is also important to provide useful information and answer students’ question. For example, I am a member of the Canada Research Chairs Program Tri-Council Committee on Equity which designs programs and measures aimed at promoting women as candidates Canada Research Chairs. I was very pleased with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s emphasis on science and technology in his cabinet and the equal representation of men and women as ministers to set an excellent example.
I also firmly believe that engineers and the media have a role to play in highlighting the many great engineering accomplishments and promoting their importance to society. We often hear about advances in science and technology with little mention of engineering. For example, landing on the moon or launching the space station and many other endeavors is all walks of life are always associated with science even though none of these would happen without amazing and significant engineering work.
Originally posted 2016-06-24 17:31:51.