XX Evening 2015 Recap
Date of Event: March 3, 2015
In partnership with Science World at TELUS World of Science, the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology hosted their annual XX Evening networking event. Having never attended myself, I had no idea what to expect. The evening was lots of fun and very high energy! Everyone I spoke to said they were having a great time and were so glad they came…and so was I! The XX Evening gives young women the opportunity to meet with successful women who work in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and learn about their careers and experiences. These guests of honor are called Wonder Women.
This year’s event saw a record turnout of approximately 200 women including over 35 Wonder Women, 170 guests, the SCWIST board, Science World employees, SCWIST volunteers and our youngest attendee – a 3 month old baby girl and future woman in STEM! The evening began with brief introductions to the Wonder Women whose diverse careers included civil engineering, software development, environmental science, biomedical visual communication, and independent consultants and business owners. The panel discussion, led by our master Master of Ceremonies Sandy Eix, included Jacqueline Huard, Marjorie Robbins, Anna Stukas and Poh Tan. These accomplished women shared stories of how they first got inspired by STEM and how their careers evolved and continue to evolve. A common thread in their careers was that there were many twists and bumps and even some 180 degree turns, but the key is to recognize opportunity when it comes and have the courage to take it and say YES! Following the panel discussion the guests had time to talk one-on-one with the Wonder Women in a very casual and approachable atmosphere. I had the opportunity to eavesdrop and participate in many interesting discussions on such topics as education, job searching, work-life balance, and challenges for women in the workplace that still exist today. At the end of the evening everyone gathered to watch “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar” in the IMAX theatre with Bronwyn McNeil, our lemur expert. On behalf of SCWIST and all attendees I would like to thank our Wonder Women this year for their door prize gifts, their time and their inspiring careers!
This wonderful event would not have been possible without the efforts of Sandy Eix and her team at Science World including Iain Fraser and Andreas Dracopol and others. Sandy is herself a Wonder Woman and on behalf of SCWIST, I would like to thank her for all of her hard work. The success of the XX Evening 2015 was also due to the efforts of the SCWIST volunteers which included Jianjia Fan, Samaneh Khakshour, Stephanie McInnis, Mila Putrkenko, and Maria Thunoe. And finally, a special thank you to the SCWIST event leader Suzana Djordjevic-Stajic. Suzana was central to the planning and execution of the XX Evening 2015 (and the wrangling of us volunteers!). Thank you for your countless hours of work, your boundless energy, your supportive and encouraging nature, and your dedication to SCWIST!
Contributed by Melissa Dennis