As a leading educational institution, Carleton has a responsibility to work toward closing the gender gap in STEM. The Faculty of Engineering and Design has created a new program, the Women in Engineering & IT (WiE&IT) Program, to provide dedicated support to women in engineering and IT. Beginning in September 2021 as the first of its kind in Canada, the WiE&IT Program will enhance support for women students, create meaningful opportunities for women professionals and shape a more inclusive future for engineering and IT. The program is another step toward closing the STEM gender gap by providing the necessary tools and knowledge for women students to successfully transition into the workforce.

The Background

Supporting women in engineering and IT ensures more creative and viable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. The WiE&IT program will provide learning and development opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate-level women within Carleton’s wide range of engineering and information technology programs.

As Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design hosts some of the most comprehensive STEM programs in Canada, the faculty has a responsibility to work toward closing the STEM gender gap. While Carleton’s innovative and unique programming is an important component towards gender equity in STEM, the implementation of the WiE&IT program is a commitment to continue to inspire, encourage and include women for a more skilled and inclusive STEM future.

The Rollout

Starting in Fall 2021, the program will host events that foster relationship building and mentorship, as well as a special fund to support allies in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals. The program will establish a comprehensive network of ambassadors and volunteers, roles that are crucial in challenging the public perception of women in STEM.

The program will provide women with access to industry tours, industry talks and “Candid Conversations,” a safe space where students can ask about professional and personal experiences in the workplace. Networking sessions will also give industry partners the opportunity to engage directly with students, encouraging the formation of meaningful professional networks. The program will also provide tangible resources that increase the visibility of women role models and ambassadors.

The Impact

As a collaborative program, WiE&IT aims to unite individuals, community organizations and industry partners committed to supporting women in engineering and IT. Carleton knows the future of STEM requires equitable and competent professionals and that when we discourage women from the industry, we miss out on a wealth of knowledge and creativity.

By fostering inclusion for educational journeys in STEM, the WiE&IT program seeks to make roots in the community and industry. The program will work to increase diversity, inclusion and the visibility of women in the engineering and IT workforce by providing practical resources to women and fostering purposeful relationships with industry partners. By helping women access some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, we can ensure a diverse, talented workforce that can tackle the world’s most pressing problems.

Carleton is committed to #CUEveryStep in closing the STEM gender gap with #WiEIT.

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