The Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology has been making strides for gender parity in STEM fields since 1981.
Gender parity is a crucial aspect of achieving a just and equitable world. It goes beyond merely balancing numbers — it involves recognizing and addressing the systemic biases that have historically marginalized women and non-binary individuals. Yet despite meaningful advancements, gender parity remains elusive in Canada.
Policymakers at all levels of government play a pivotal role in driving gender equality. They must design and implement initiatives that promote equal representation, such as the 50-30 Challenge, which seeks 50 per cent representation of women and 30 per cent representation of other equity-seeking groups in board settings.
Establishing a level playing field
Civil society organizations such as the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) also do vital work to dismantle barriers and establish a level playing field. The SCWIST’s policy team is excited to build on the federal government’s 50-30 campaign, stating: “Women and other equity-seeking groups have been historically underrepresented in STEM fields, therefore STEM companies are an essential part of achieving gender equality. By creating a STEM Diversity Champions Dashboard, we’ve created a tangible tool for companies to monitor and benchmark their progress in achieving 50-30, thus fostering a more equitable tomorrow for female scientists, engineers, and technologists.”
SCWIST also runs several other programs to help achieve gender parity, including MakePossible, an online mentoring community, and Make DIVERSITY Possible, which helps organizations ensure that embracing diversity is at the forefront of their policies.
To learn more about all the programs that the SCWIST offers, visit scwist.ca.