Making DIVERSITY Possible – One Organization At A Time

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Saskatoon, April 1, 2019- In September 2017, the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) initiated the three-year project, Make DIVERSITY Possible, to develop tools for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) organizations to access a diverse talent pool and to create inclusive workplace cultures where everyone can thrive and prosper. The project, funded by Status of Women Canada, appointed three SCWIST women leaders to participate in the Gender Equality Network Canada (GENC), a national framework to advance equality for all women. Through the network, GENC leaders share local project expertise, collaborate and leverage resources.

Christin Wiedemann, Past President of SCWIST states, “We need diversity; diversity drives innovation and diversity is key to our growth as individuals and as organizations. STEM is no exception.” Christin Wiedemann, Anja Lanz, and Fariba Pacheleh are SCWIST’s women leaders appointed to the national GENC project, and they are participating in the Gender Equality Fair being held in Saskatoon on April 1st, as part of the national meeting.

To examine the business case for diversity, understand unconscious bias, explore best practices and work together to develop solutions that advance diversity, SCWIST engages organizations through Diversity by Design Workshops. SCWIST works with each organization to create a Roadmap to Success that attracts and promotes diverse talent, and creates an inclusive workplace culture with flexible workplace policies to support diversity.

“The project’s new Diversity Awareness Tool uses the Harvard Implicit Association Test to create awareness of the unconscious biases that we all have,” explains Maria Issa, Project Chair.

Kelly Marciniw, current SCWIST President, describes how “the project also leverages SCWIST’s online platform that provides 360 degree mentoring, skills-exchange and lifelong learning. MakePossible connects women and men from diverse STEM sectors to develop skills, share expertise and learn from different perspectives in a low barrier platform. This, in turn, reduces bias, advances diversity and creates inclusivity.”

The Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology, SCWIST, was founded in 1981 as a not-for-profit association to encourage women’s participation in STEM. SCWIST works in partnership with the community, to support and promote the education of girls and women through programs and activities. SCWIST has a spectacular record of increasing the numbers, retention and status of women in the workplace through networking, mentoring and advocating for woman-friendly policies. SCWIST highlights opportunities, achievements and positive messages for and about women in STEM fields, raises public awareness and guides policy implementation.

SCWIST: #311 – 525 Seymour St.
Vancouver, BC V6B 3H7
(604) 893-8657

Make DIVERSITY Possible Project Manager:
Cheryl Kristiansen, P. Eng.

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