“STEM needs women” – Celebrating the 2023 International Day of Women and Girls in Science

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Celebrating the 2023 International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Every year on February 11th, millions of people around the world celebrate the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Science and gender equality are essential to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Great strides have been made in recent years to encourage women and girls to study and work in scientific fields. However, the United Nations reports that women continue to be underrepresented in these sectors.

The 2023 theme of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was ‘Innovate. Demonstrate. Elevate. Advance. Sustain (I.D.E.A.S.)’, with a focus on enabling sustainable and equitable development by strengthening ties between science, policy, and society.

To celebrate, SCWIST hosted I.D.E.A.S: Bringing Everyone Forward for Sustainable and Equitable Development, an event for underprivileged youth in Manitoba.

SCWIST in the community

SCWIST’s President Dr. Poh Tan, Director of Youth Engagement JeAnn Watson, MPhil, PMP, Secretary Dr. Maria Gyongyossy-Issa and Mantoba Lead Dr. Anju Bajaj joined Lisa Albensi, RN, MSN, PMP, Prosci, SSBB and Minister Rochelle Squires of the Government of Manitoba to speak at the event.

“We wanted to honour women’s significant achievements in science and place a much-needed focus on girls entering STEM careers,” said Dr. Anju Bajaj, the event organizer. “And we celebrated the hard work and ingenuity of the millions of women in science around the world. STEM needs women. It’s the fastest-growing segment of jobs and employers are having a difficult time finding and recruiting available talent.”

The event attendees learned about trailblazing women who have charted their own path, and about how their own passions to pursue STEM could be supported. They also took a deep dive into STEM careers related to several of the SDGs, including clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), affordable and clean energy (Goal 7), industry, innovation and infrastructure (Goal 9), and sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11).

Empowering the next generation of STEM leaders

“Events like this are great to build confidence and get all students involved in STEM,” said Minister Rochelle Squires. “I encourage you to continue to question, to experiment and to innovate. Who knows what breakthroughs you may achieve!”

SCWIST has a long history of empowering youth to be actively involved in STEM by giving them the skills and confidence they need to succeed.

It is so important that women, girls and non-binary folk are supported in their desires to lead and innovate — because when youth see a diversity of people excelling, it lets them know that they too can become leaders in STEM and beyond.

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