Women in SETT (Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology) - Building Communities - A Project of the Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science and Technology - CCWEST

Tuesday, July 27 2010

Women in SETT (Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology) - Building Communities - A Project of the Canadian Coalition for Women in Engineering, Science and Technology - CCWEST

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The Initiative
CCWEST is undertaking a year-long initiative to engage organizations and strengthen its advocacy role in influencing government, industry, sectoral and professional associations, and post-secondary institutions to increase women's participation, retention, contributions and leadership in science, engineering, trades and technology throughout Canada. This initiative will complement and strengthen Canada's Innovation Strategy, released in 2002

Project Objectives

At three Regional Consultations and a National Meeting, invited stakeholders and key agents of change will review issues and best practices, identify priorities, highlight regional issues, and develop recommendations for a final Position Paper and Call to Action. The Position Paper will be distributed to, and describe roles for, government, not-for-profit organizations, industry and education sectors, particularly in the areas of policy development, change, or improved implementation. Background research will highlight the current status of women in SETT and complement the work of the meetings. Consultation themes include Workplace Culture; Recruitment, Hiring, Promotion, Retention and Returning; and Access to Funding.
Dates for the meetings are:

Nov. 5, 2003 Eastern Regional Consultation St. John's, NL
Dec. 4, 2003 Central Regional Consultation Toronto, ON
Jan. 29, 2004 Western Regional Consultation Vancouver, BC
April 21/22, 2004 National Meeting Ottawa, ON

The CCWEST Executive, a Project Working Committee and Project Coordinator will oversee and carry out the initiative.

Women in SETT is funded in part by a significant grant from Status of Women Canada, and other financial and in kind partnerships are being developed.

Individuals with expertise in areas of strategic focus and in positions to champion the project and influence policy in key sectors, provide advice to the Working Committee and Project Coordinator during the initiative.

Project Rationale
There is a substantial body of research and statistical information that documents the current under-representation of women in SETT fields across the country. The most recent data from the 2001 Canadian Census, for example, highlight that while women are 46.7% of the total paid work force, they make up only 21.5% in science, engineering and technical fields (11.1% in the engineering sectors) and 7.0% in trades and related occupations. (http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/).

Much has been done to encourage girls and young women to take science and mathematics in high school and to enter post-secondary SETT programs, and CCWEST member organizations have very successful, award-winning records in such endeavours. CCWEST and others are also focusing on the critical areas of the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in their careers.

Across all disciplines and sectors, there are decreasing rates of participation for women as you move from post-secondary enrolment and graduation, to graduate/advanced education, career entry, and the persistence and advancement of women in SETT careers. The Proceedings of the 12th International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists, July, 2002, Ottawa contain numerous papers that report research findings on the factors influencing this situation (http://www.inwes.org for list of presentations).

This initiative is timely because of the release in 2002 of Canada's Innovation Strategy in two papers outlining the steps needed to "ensure equality of opportunity and economic innovation in the knowledge society". Achieving Excellence: Investing in People, Knowledge and Opportunity focused on strengthening the country's science and research capacity. Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians discussed how to "strengthen learning in Canada, to develop people's talent and to provide opportunity for all to contribute to and benefit from the new economy". Significantly, however, that process and the series of documents produced did not specifically acknowledge the important economic and social contributions of women in SETT to Canada's economy currently and in the future.

There is thus now a critical opportunity to address this gap in awareness and policy at the institutional level. And CCWEST is a recognized leader in already successfully promoting the participation of women in fields that

CCWEST is a national coalition of groups that promotes women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, celebrates their contributions and applies new vision to these fields. CCWEST is a purely voluntary organization with no infrastructure funding support except for the in-kind contributions made by members and a portion of any revenue generated from our biennial national conferences.

The objectives of CCWEST are:

CCWEST was established in 1987 to provide a unified forum of about 25 organizations represented in most provinces of Canada. Currently, these members represent greater than 20,000 women and men in science, engineering, technology, mathematics and trades. Member organizations include:

British Columbia
Division for the Advancement of Women in Engineering and Geoscience (DAWEG)
Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST)

Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST)
Alberta Women's Science Network (AWSN)

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Manitoba (APEGM)

Let's Talk Science (LTS)
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Sudbury
Software Human Resources Sector Council
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Ottawa
Status of Women in Science, Brock University
Women Inventors' Project (WIP)
Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO)

Chaire CRSNG/Alcan pour les femmes en sciences et génie au Québec

Nova Scotia
Association of Nova Scotia Women in Education and Research in Science (ANSWERS)

Newfoundland and Labrador
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Newfoundland and Labrador
Women in Resource Development Inc.

Committee to Encourage Women in Physics (CEWIP)
Canadian Association of Women in Science (CAWIS)
Canadian Association of Girls in Science (CAGIS)
Representatives from Aboriginal Women's Groups
Canadian Association of Women Geoscientists
Canadian Council for Professional Engineers (CCPE)
Women in Mathematics Committee of the Canadian Mathematics Society

Contact Information

Working Committee:

Hiromi Matsui (Past President, CCWEST; Director of Diversity and Recruitment, Simon Fraser University) 604-291-4247; matsui@sfu.ca
Lorraine Michael (Director, CCWEST; Executive Director, Women in Resource Development Committee) 709-738-3713; lmichael@wrdc.nf.ca


Margaret-Ann Armour (Past President, CCWEST; Director, WISEST; Assistant Chair,Dept.of Chemistry, University of Alberta) 780-492-4969; margaret-ann.armour@ualberta.ca

Lisa Carter (President, CCWEST; Chair, Alberta Women's Science Network; Associate Professor, Athabasca University) 780-675-6281; lisa.carter@athabascau.ca

Helen Francis (Vice-President, CCWEST; Treasurer, WISE Sudbury; Frontline Supervisor, Creighton Mine, INCO Ltd.) 705-682-5885; hfrancis@inco.com

Catherine Hammond (Treasurer, CCWEST; Director, Finance and Operations, Let's Talk Science) 519-474-4081; chammond@letstalkscience.ca

Helen Loshny (Director CCWEST; Coordinator, Society of Canadian Women in Science and Technology) 604-895-5814; scwist@sfu.ca
Shauna Paull (Coordinator, Immigrating Women in Science) 604-895-5800; iwis@sfu.ca

Project Coordinator:

Carolyn J. Emerson (709) 754-7646; carolyn.emerson@earthlink.net

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