SCWIST at CSPC2023
It is projected that upwards of seventy percent of future jobs will require STEM knowledge. As we usher in the digital era, this means that existing inequities must be addressed to prevent their potential exacerbation.
On November 13, 2023, SCWIST President Dr. Melanie Ratnam moderated Bridging the Gap: Addressing Inequities in STEM for a Sustainable Future, a panel discussion at the 2023 Canadian Science Policy Conference. The panel explored factors contributing to inequities in STEM and led a discussion on policy change, education strategies and industry initiatives to bridge the gap in access and opportunities to pursue a career in STEM.
Unpacking Inequities in STEM
The panellists, recognizing the urgency to prevent the exacerbation of these inequities, meticulously dove into the contributing factors, launching into a thoughtful discussion on policy changes, innovative education strategies and industry initiatives before moving the conversation to potential solutions.
With such a complex issue of discussion on hand, the panel landed on a multifaceted solution, concentrating on five vital areas:
- Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA): Recognizing the significance of IDEA in dismantling barriers to STEM participation.
- Pay Equity: Addressing pay disparities within STEM fields to promote fairness and equality.
- Education & Leadership: Exploring strategies to enhance education and leadership opportunities for underrepresented groups in STEM.
- Childcare: Acknowledging the impact of childcare on career choices, the panel will discuss measures to support parents in STEM careers.
- Gender-Based Violence (GBV): The panel will address the crucial issue of GBV within the STEM community and advocate for a safer and more inclusive environment.
SCWIST would like to express its gratitude to all those who participated in this important discussion:
- Ainsley Latour, President and Co-Founder of IDEA-STEM
- Andrea Doucet, (Ph.D.) Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Gender, Work, and Care, Professor in the Department of Sociology and Centre for Gender and Women’s Studies at Brock University and Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University and the University of Victoria.
- Commissioner Kadie Ward, Commissioner and Chief Administrative Officer at Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
- Dr. Naheda Sahtout, Policy Analyst, Natural Resources Canada
- Dr. Poh Tan, Founder & CEO of STEMedge Inc. and past SCWIST President
- Harmy Mendoza, Executive Director of WomanACT
- Dr. Melanie Ratnam, President of SCWIST (Moderator)
The Canadian Science Policy Magazine
Tam Pham, SCWIST’s Director of Youth Engagement, was also involved in the Canadian Science Policy Conference. They wrote an article for the Canadian Science Policy Magazine: “The Essential and Hidden Role of Accessibility in Canadian Science Policy Partaking Process.” Read the complete article to gain insights into the crucial intersection of accessibility and Canadian science policy.