SCWIST has been a strong advocate and powerful champion for women and girls in STEM since 1981. Key advocacy goals and actions include:
- To create public awareness of opportunities for women and girls in STEM
- To promote positive messages about women’s achievements and contributions to innovation and economic prosperity
- To provide resources to influence public policy and advocate for flexible workplace policies that advance gender diversity
SCWIST has been invited several times to the Canadian Government’s House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women (SWC) to provide expert testimony on:
- Key recommendations to advance women in leadership (November 2014)
- How to address barriers to women’s participation, retention and advancement in STEM (April 2015)
- How to increase STEM participation, advance leadership and improve economic security of women (May 2017)
The SCWIST Leadership Team also engages directly with government leaders to advocate for STEM and gender equality:
- Meeting with SWC Minister Hajdu in January 2016 to discuss how to address systemic challenges for women and girls in STEM
- Meeting with SWC (now Department of WAGE – Women and Gender Equality) Minister Monsef in August 2019 to share the results of the Make DIVERSITY Possible Project, to engage community partners and to advocate for continued support to advance gender equality in STEM
As part of its advocacy work, SCWIST contributes to Canada’s G7 position on global gender equality and how to promote greater engagement in STEM:
- G7 Civic Society Outreach Roundtable Event in Ottawa in April 2016
- Specific recommendations to advance STEM
- G7 Summit Follow-up Roundtable in Ottawa (May 2017)
- Vancouver Roundtable for Public Dialogue on Gender, Labour, Innovation and International Develop to Inform Canada’s contribution to the G7 Summit in La Malbaie Quebec (October 2017)
- Developing collaborative partnerships to support UN Sustainable Development Goals for G7 and G20
As part of the SCALE project, SCWIST develops collaborative partnerships with STEM Industry, Academia, Gender Equality and Global organizations to collectively advocate for informed, data-driven policy to achieve equity, diversity and inclusion. If you are interested in collaborating to advance gender equality in STEM, please contact our SCALE project manager.
In 2019, SCWIST collaborated with local community partners to hold “All Candidate” federal debates in Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal. Debate questions were focused on three main topics including: gender equity, STEM related policy, and the importance of research and evidence-based policy. Read more.
SCWIST is a diversity champion for women in STEM through a variety of gender equality initiatives including the WEBAlliance, We For She Annual Conference, Creating Connections, CCWESTT (Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science, Trades and Technology), Gender Equality Network Canada (GENC), Women Deliver 2019 Conference and Women Deliver Advocacy Academy.