The 2023 Biennial Summit of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering will be jointly hosted by McMaster University in the city of Hamilton November 14-15, 2023. McMaster University and ONWiE acknowledge that the conference will be organized and held on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish with One Spoon” wampum agreement. We recognize, honour, and respect Indigenous peoples in the region, past, present, and future.
The theme of the conference is “Diversity through Inclusion.” The founding mission of ONWiE was to increase gender diversity in engineering, and we recognise that it is essential to build inclusive spaces that welcome all students. Not only is that the fair thing to do, but it will also improve recruitment efforts.
Inclusion should be embedded in community outreach, recruitment efforts, undergraduate and graduate education, co-op and internship experiences, treatment of faculty and staff, decision-making and careers. Intersectional perspectives are critical in ensuring effective approaches.
We invite submissions in all areas of engineering inclusion and diversity, especially on the conference theme. Although we welcome scholarly submissions, our goal is to share best practices of ideas that make a real difference and can be translated to other forums. Work can include original research, review of research-based best-practices, and on-the-ground efforts. Measuring success is an asset. Examples include:
Community outreach initiatives. This includes approaches that meet the needs of specific communities (e.g. Black or Indigenous scholars), that engage in new ways (e.g. inclusive workshops with community partners) or that reach underserved groups in interesting ways. It could also include analyses of interventions to make all participants feel more included.
Recruitment approaches. This includes sharing effective messaging, ways of engaging with under-represented potential students and analyses of barriers.
Undergraduate education. This includes all aspects of inclusive pegagogy, understanding intersectional student experiences, training, mentorship, support programs and effective affinity groups activities.
Co-op and internship experiences. This includes supports for equity-deserving students from the university, professionalism courses, policies for managing harassment and discrimination, mentorship and understanding barriers to success.
Graduate education. This includes approaches to training principal investigators and research groups, recruiting a diversity of graduate students, inclusive practices (e.g. ways to support parental leave or family obligations), targeted supports and analysis of experiences.
Hiring for diversity. This includes approaches such as cohort hiring, training of search committees, implementation of rubrics, design of job ad, interview approaches, spousal hiring, and measurement targets.
Faculty supports. This includes onboarding, tenure and promotion expectations, COVID relief, mentorship, leadership development, training and understanding experiences.
Staff supports (including teaching assistants). This includes onboarding, expectations, mentorship, leadership development, training and understanding experiences.
Decision-making. This includes equity lenses, specific administrative structures to support equity, diversity and inclusion and measurement.
Career building. This includes industry-led approaches such as affinity groups and internal supports and alumni engagement.
Sessions typically run for about 90 minutes and will include the following presentation modes:
Podium Talk (15 minutes presentation + 5 minutes Q&A) – briefly explain your work with presentation slides; expect questions from the audience.
Lightning Talk (5 minutes presentation + 5 minutes Q&A) – focus more on the idea and the results; well suited for works-in-progress, good ideas or approaches and early research findings.
Maria Klawe, President, Harvey Mudd College – “Increasing the Number of Women in Tech”
Maria Klawe’s Biography
Maria Klawe began her tenure as Harvey Mudd College’s fifth president in 2006. A renowned computer scientist and scholar, President Klawe is the first woman to lead the College since its founding in 1955. Prior to joining HMC, she served as dean of engineering and professor of computer science at Princeton University. Klawe joined Princeton from the University of British Columbia where she served as dean of science from 1998 to 2002, vice president of student and academic services from 1995 to 1998 and head of the Department of Computer Science from 1988 to 1995. Prior to UBC, Klawe spent eight years with IBM Research in California, and two years at the University of Toronto. She received her PhD (1977) and BSc (1973) in mathematics from the University of Alberta.
Klawe has made significant research contributions in several areas of mathematics and computer science, including functional analysis, discrete mathematics, theoretical computer science, human-computer interaction, gender issues in information technology and interactive-multimedia for mathematics education. Her current research focuses on discrete mathematics.
Klawe is a renowned lecturer and has given talks at international conferences, national symposia, and colleges across the U.S. and Canada about diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines and industries, gender and gaming, and lessons from her own career in STEM industry and education. She has devoted particular attention in recent years to improving K-12 science and mathematics education.
Klawe is a board member of the nonprofit Math for America, chair of the board of the nonprofit EdReports.org, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a trustee for the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley and a member of the Canada Excellence Research Chairs Selection Board.
Klawe is the recipient of the 2014 Women of Vision ABIE Award for Leadership and was ranked 17 on Fortune’s 2014 list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. In 2015 she was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Computer Science and the Achievement Award from the American Association of University Women, and she was inducted into the US News STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame. She was honored by the Computing Research Association’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award.
Hilary Bergsieker is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Waterloo, where she directs the Diversity and Intergroup Relations Lab. She joined the faculty at Waterloo after completing her bachelors degree in Psychology at Stanford and a Fulbright Enterprise Scholarship in Berlin, Germany, followed by her Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Policy at Princeton. Dr. Bergsieker has expertise in trust formation and maintenance in diverse groups, social network analysis, and bias reduction, and was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science in 2017. She is a Fellow of the Engendering Success in STEM research consortium, collaborating with industry partners to use science-based interventions to advance the inclusion and success of women in engineering. When not pursuing her passion for research, Hilary also loves to spend time with her husband and three little boys, hike, camp, ski, watch spy movies, craft, and travel.
Terri is the Superintendent of Education responsible for the process of development and implementation of Halton District School Board’s new Innovation – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (I-STEM) Program at Aldershot High School. Terri will share insights of engaging stakeholders in the development process, the richness of working with an external Advisory Group (McMaster, Mohawk, Canada2067), and building on the learning from existing STEM programs across the province.
Frank Bouchard is currently Manager of Outreach for the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa, and has led the office since 2010. He is first in his role, having founded the department and has led several highly successful initiatives at the university such as the university’s Makerspace, Makermobile program and faculty private high school. He prides himself with ensuring that outreach programs help youth and educators foster their love for innovation in STEM fields. Frank Bouchard is also an award winning entrepreneur and inventor with his company Wipebook, which produces reusable whiteboard notebooks and flip charts. He and his team had the opportunity to pitch on Dragons Den where he was offered a deal from Arlene Dickinson for $300,000. Wipebook now sells its product in 68 countries around the world and retail channels such as Staples and Walmart across North America. Frank Bouchard was named one of Canada’s future Leaders of 2014 in Maclean’s magazine and was recognized as Ottawa’s 40 under 40 at the age of 27. He has also been awarded the Manning Innovation Award in 2017 for the development of the Wipebook.
Associate Director of Engineering Outreach at the University of Toronto, Dawn Britton is a leader in STEM education in Canada. Britton, who has worked at U of T for 15 years and in the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering for 10 years, devotes herself to various outreach efforts, including the Da Vinci Engineering Enrichment Program (DEEP) Summer Academy, Jr. DEEP, Go Eng Girl and In-School Workshops. Encouraging diverse representation in the field of engineering, Britton dedicates herself to inclusive STEM programming, growing specialty programs such as Girls Jr. Deep – an all girls day camp focused on females in engineering – and ENGage – a collaboration between U of T’s Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. Managing the core K-12 STEM programming, Britton’s mission is to ensure that there are no barriers to young people thinking that they can be successful in engineering. In doing so, she ultimately seeks to get youth to think about engineering as a design process, preparing them for a world of complex social issues that requires the creativity fostered by STEM education.
For more than three decades, Valerie Davidson has been an exceptional citizen within the engineering community and a dedicated champion of diversity in the profession. During her career, Dr. Davidson developed groundbreaking, fundamentals-based, engineering models of complex food processing systems. The first PhD graduate of the University of Toronto’s Canadian Food Engineering Research Program, she went on to serve as a professor at the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering from 1988 to 2012. Since retiring, she has been a consultant to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. A passionate advocate for creating a more inclusive profession, Dr. Davidson served as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Ontario region Chair for Women in Science and Engineering from 2003 to 2011. Under her leadership, the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) was launched, connecting all 16 engineering schools and faculties across Ontario.
Lukasz Golab is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo and a Canada Research Chair in Data Analytics for Sustainability. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo (with Alumni Gold Medal) and a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Toronto (with High Distinction). His research interests include data science for social good, large-scale data management, data mining, and data cleaning.
Cheryl Jensen joined Algonquin College in 2014 as the 8th College President, bringing with her more than 30 years of experience in the college system. Cheryl joined Algonquin from Mohawk College, where she held the position of Vice President, Academic, from 2009-2014. She first joined Mohawk as a Chemical Engineering Technology professor in 1983 and served as Dean, Executive Dean, and Vice President of Engineering Technology, Apprenticeship & Corporate Training.
Kim Jones is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. She is also the Chair of the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE), an organisation that coordinates the efforts of Ontario universities to recruit a more diverse engineering student population. Her research has focused on the body’s response to biomaterials that are implanted for drug delivery, tissue engineering and prostheses. More recently, she has focused her research and teaching on equity, diversity and inclusion in engineering.
Cassandra has been working on social justice and public engagement for 20 years on a diversity of campaigns and issues. Cassandra is the Interim Manager of Diversity and Outreach at Engineers Canada where she leads work on increasing the number of women in engineering, as well as improving Indigenous People’s access to the engineering profession in Canada. Previously, Cassandra worked as the Public Engagement Coordinator for the Ontario Council for International Cooperation, creating spaces for multi-stakeholder dialogue and creative collaboration through a variety of programming. Cassandra completed a Master of Arts in Cultural Analysis and Social Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University on transnational Muslim feminist mobilizations, and a Bachelor of Environment and Resource Studies (Honours) from the University of Waterloo. Her training and volunteer work in LGBTQ+ advocacy, environmental campaigns, and anti-oppression have continued to motivate and educate her ongoing work in diversity and inclusion.
Rebecca White is living proof of the life-changing potential of STEM youth outreach. As a diligent student who worked hard to get good grades, and enjoyed math and science, she had no idea how that could translate into a career. Like most kids, the careers she considered were those she was exposed to on a regular basis — teacher, doctor, nurse, dentist. Thanks to the success of Jurassic Park at the time, archaeologist was a leading contender for a while! However, starting in grade 3, Becky attended “Science Quest” engineering kids camp at Queen’s University in her hometown of Kingston. After spending time with engineering student counselors, exploring the campus and everything that the world of engineering had to offer, she fell in love and came back year after year. She attended Queen’s University and studied chemical engineering, then embarked on a 15 year career in manufacturing, presiding over the production of pharmaceuticals and food products. She held various roles including Production Co-ordinator, Production Manager, and Senior Continuous Improvement Specialist. Today, as the head of Engineers of Tomorrow, she reflects on her own engineering career and her own impact in helping people get the food and medicine they needed. She unlocks the potential of all STEM grads and engineers to become ambassadors for their own professions and industries, and to talk about their own ‘why’ with the skill, clarity, and heart that will inspire the next generation. Her own engineering outreach experience has come full circle — and she’s proud to show her own kids about the wonders of engineering to keep the cycle going!
Over the past 23 years, Janie Lumsden has had the privilege of teaching students in grades K through 12 in several Nova Scotia schools. She currently teaches Communication Technology, Citizenship and IB History at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School in Antigonish – Home of St.FX University and hometown for the Hamilton based band: “The Trews”. She has coveted her role as a Techsploration Teacher for 9 years. Techsploration highlights for Janie include participating in “Overboard” water survival demonstrations, and bucket truck safety demonstrations. The most memorable moments have been sharing these events with the students who have participated each year.
Dr. Qiao Sun is a professor of mechanical engineering. She is Senior Associate Dean (Diversity and Equity) at the University of Calgary’s Schulich School of Engineering. As a researcher, Dr. Sun specializes in the area of robotics, dynamical system modeling, control, and machinery fault diagnosis. She is a dedicated educator and mentor. Her graduate students have won local, national, and international awards. Her colleagues and undergraduate classes have selected her for numerous teaching excellence awards. In her role of associate dean, she leads the Schulich School of Engineering’s initiatives to advance diversity in engineering. The School was awarded the 2016 Knovo Award of Distinction for advancing diversity and equity. Its Discover Engineering recruitment program was one of the three finalists in 2017 for the Airbus GEDC Diversity Award. Its Cybermentor outreach program was awarded the WEPAN Women in Engineering Initiative Award in 2017. The School also won the University of Calgary’s inaugural Diversity Award in 2019. The Schulich School of Engineering is a champion for Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 goal.
Emily Cyr, M.A., is a PhD candidate in quantitative social psychology at the University of Waterloo, studying social network structures, inter-group relations, stereotyping and gender. Her research combines social psychological theory and quantitative methods from statistics and sociology, focusing on how our personal (friends, romantic partners) and professional (coworkers, managers) relationships influence our behaviors and attitudes.
Diana Wang-Martin is a chemistry teacher, STEM Teacher Advisor and International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Coordinator at Glenforest Secondary School in Mississauga. Diana is a strong proponent of STEM Education and “Four Cs” learning. She partners with educators from elementary to post-secondary levels and with community leaders to design and implement opportunities for students to build their Four Cs skills. Under her supervision and guidance, Glenforest STEM students organize and host STEM outreach events such as science, health, technology and coding symposiums, as well as large-scale Canada-Wide Youth STEM Conferences for secondary and middle school students. She is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Teaching Excellence 2017 and 2018.
Lindsay Bolan is Manager, Strategic Recruitment & Enrollment with McMaster University’s Faculty of Engineering. Lindsay has worked in student recruitment and admissions for 13 years at three different Canadian universities. Lindsay has published research covering topics on marketing in Ontario universities, as well as the student experience of those in integrated college-university programs. At McMaster, Lindsay has implemented data-driven strategic recruitment initiatives with specific goals to increase the number of female students in Engineering. From customized emails to print materials highlighting the diversity of our student body, Lindsay’s team works with a marketing lens to ensure that female students receive clear and compelling communication throughout the applicant cycle.
Mary Wells is an award-winning engineer, professor and administrator who has spent more than 20 years in academia. She is currently the Dean at the University of Guelph’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Prior to this, Mary was the Associate Dean of Outreach and a professor in mechanical and mechatronics engineering at the University of Waterloo. She also chaired the Ontario Network of Women in Engineering (ONWiE) from 2013-2018. Mary’s outreach activities earned have earned her both the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Award for Science Promotion, and the prestigious Support of Women in the Engineering Profession Award from Engineers Canada. A past president of the Metallurgy and Materials Society of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum, Mary holds a B.Eng. from McGill University and a PhD from UBC.