Brock to host event focused on getting more women into STEM careers

A new event aimed at inspiring girls and women to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math is being launched in Niagara.

In collaboration with Young Enterprising Women (YEW), “An Evening with STEM-preneurs” will be hosted at Brock University on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Facilitated by Stephanie Thompson, CEO of Women in STEM Experiences (WISE) and Nancy Watts, CEO of Nancy Watts Communication, the evening will connect the Niagara community with a range of women in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering and math).

Brock University Associate Vice-Provost, Teaching and Learning Madelyn Law said it’s fitting that the University is hosting the event.

“As a Brock employee, alumni and lifelong Niagara resident, I am thrilled we are hosting this event for young female high school students who are interested in STEM,” Law said. “It is a fabulous opportunity to partner with community members and highlight the great academic programs and innovative research initiatives that happen right here in Niagara by researchers and highly impactful females in their respective fields.”

Historically, the percentage of women with careers in STEM fields is significantly lower than that of men. Thompson is hoping to inspire more girls and women to consider STEM when choosing a career by breaking down barriers and making the fields more accessible.

“This STEM evening hosted by Brock University is a great way to help empower younger generation women to explore STEM subjects in a fun, supportive setting,” Thompson said. “Our goal is to showcase some amazing local talent and to share with an audience of all ages that STEM subjects are interesting, challenging, diverse and fun.”

The event will include a panel of women in different stages of their careers, as well as a welcome from Law and a keynote address by Meghan Chayka, co-founder of Niagara-based company Stathletes.

“It is important for young females to understand the scope of STEM activities and to be exposed to other women working in this field in order to allow them to see what is possible and realize the opportunities that exist,” Law said. “Brock has many ways to engage in STEM activities through courses and research opportunities and hosting this event helps to profile Brock, but more importantly helps inspire and motivate women to enter this field to grow capacity in Niagara.”

Nancy Watt Communications has been running these events in Toronto and Hamilton for the past three years. The Niagara event will include an essay contest where two high school girls will be selected to attend the Enterprising Women Gala and Conference next month, where they’ll join other students from across North America.

Registration for An Evening with STEM-preneurs is open to everyone and tickets are free to attend. For more information or to register, visit the Women in Stem Experiences Eventbrite site.

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