OSPE receives funding to remove barriers for women in STEM from Status of Women Canada

Maryam Monsef
Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of Status of Women, announces Government of Canada funding for nine projects that will help advance gender equality in Ontario, including a 36-month project with OSPE.

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) is pleased to announce that its Canada 150 STEM Challenge: Overcoming Systemic Barriers for Women Choosing STEM Careers proposal has been approved for funding by Status of Women Canada (SWC).

SWC has committed $385,000 to support the development and initiation of a 36-month project to address barriers that contribute to the under representation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). In cooperation with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) and other partners, OSPE will work with students, educational institutions, employers, governments, STEM professionals, parents and stakeholders to:

  • Collect and analyze grassroots perspectives
  • Develop and pilot strategies to remove systemic barriers using online tools designed to support women and girls
  • Create and promote workplace and government policy recommendations

OSPE’s Women in STEM project is guided by three leaders who will participate in Pan-Canadian meetings with other funded organizations to support the advancement of the project:

  • Annette Bergeron, P.Eng., President-elect, Engineers Canada, Past President and Chair of the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (2005, 2010) and Professional Engineers Ontario (2014)
  • Valerie Davidson, P.Eng., professor at the University of Guelph recognized for her contributions to food safety engineering and encouragement of women to pursue careers in science and engineering.
  • Kathy Lerette, CET, Senior Vice President, Business Transformation at Alectra Utilities, with 35 years of experience as an engineering and operations professional in the energy industry

“We are thrilled to receive support from Status of Women Canada to help address this incredibly important issue in the engineering profession,” said Annette Bergeron, P.Eng. “OSPE is the Ontario champion of Engineers Canada’s 30 by 30 goal of raising the percentage of newly licensed engineers who are women to 30% by the year 2030. Removing systemic barriers through this project will help us get there.”

“This project will help to recruit and retain more women in STEM fields by addressing issues such as outdated stereotypes and unconscious bias,” adds Valerie Davidson, P.Eng.

Please continue to follow OSPE’s Society Notes blog for updates on the progress of this important project. Read the full release from Status of Women Canada.


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