CBU and MSVU Team Up To Promote Women in Science

For the second year in a row, Cape Breton University is hosting a Women in Science Retreat, designed to inform and educate young females about career placement options in the field of science. The retreat, held on March 31 in the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE) at CBU, is a daylong event in which young woman ages 14-20 will have the opportunity to meet peers with similar interests, attend information sessions and workshops, gain access to mentors and network with woman currently working in science based careers.

“This type of event is something that, as a female scientist myself, I feel very strongly about,” says Stephanie MacQuarrie, Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry. “Women have made major contributions to science for centuries but often get overlooked in a field that is typically seen as male dominated. Although significant advances have been made promoting young women in science, gender lopsidedness still exists in many scientific fields. Here at CBU, we feel it is crucial to empower and educate young women and allow them a chance to rise above the stereotypes and make their mark in this field should they chose to.”

This year’s event is being sponsored by The Atlantic NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) from Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU). Chair holder, Dr. Tamara Franz-Odendaal will present during the event, and will also serve as the keynote speaker. The goal of WISE is to provide high school aged girls with role models active in Science and Engineering fields, enabling these girls to ‘access’ such role models through mentorship, webinars and workshops.

“The Atlantic NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering strives to establish a network for women in science and engineering in Atlantic Canada, while working towards understanding the decision making strategies of young woman in regard to career aspirations and hosting events such as this one, that ensure these young woman are educated, informed and hopefully excited about opportunities provided to them in the field,” says Dr. Franz-Odendaal. “This retreat being held at CBU exemplifies how we are working to sustain these goals and is an incredible opportunity to expand this network of youth in a fun, informative, action packed day.”

More than 150 young females from across Cape Breton will attend this year’s event. Sessions will include presentations on engineering, environmental science, health sciences and nursing, and career development. Sponsors and local science related businesses will have booths set up at the event and will be present throughout the day to answer any questions participants may have.

For more information visit www.cbu.ca/research/women-science-lunch.

Additional questions can be directed to Stephanie MacQuarrie at (902)563-1302 or stephanie_macquarrie@cbu.ca.