Keynote: Dr. Imogen Coe
“Embedding Equity, Delivering Diversity, Saving Science”
Location: CE 265 (Credit Union Room)
Despite many years of effort, most recent data (NSERC, Oct 2017 report; NSF Science and Engineering Indicators, 2016) has shown relatively little change in participation and retention rates of women in STEM-educational pathways and careers within the academy. While there are some small encouraging signs, the low participation rates for women in STEM-based pathways and careers represents a huge loss in earning potential, economic development and empowerment in Canada for women as well as loss in the potential for innovation that is a well documented outcome of increased diversity. Academia has been particularly resistant to change despite calls from government, funding agencies, industry and business to develop a rich, diverse and STEM-talented workforce. Other OECD countries have recognized the loss of potential in under-representation and participation of women and have taken different approaches to effecting systemic and long-term change, particularly in academia. Canada can look to leading practices else where as it builds an evidence-informed, data-driven approach to addressing organizational, institutional, structural and systemic barriers to fully equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM in Canada. We need leadership from men and women in positions of power and privilege to drive systemic change along with accountability and consequences. Perhaps, most importantly, we need courage. Data and evidence tell us that embedding equity and delivering on the diversity opportunity by choosing inclusion will ultimately lead to better science.