Thank You for Making CCWESTT2018 Such a Success!
By: Lianne Lefsrud and Anjum Mullick, Co-Chairs CCWESTT2018
This three-day national event, brought together subject matter experts, employers, CEOs/presidents, government representatives, and women in SETT (Science, Engineering, Trades, and Technology) at all phases of their career life-cycle to share their knowledge and experience around diversity and inclusion. Our flexible theme of “Learn. Grow. Act.” included the sharing current and emerging research and best practices, offering powerful professional development, and gaining practical solutions to the challenges faced regarding attraction, promotion, and retention of women in SETT.
A record-breaking 450 women and men attended CCWESTT 2018, with more than 50% of attendees represented women in engineering and geoscience. While male attendance has not been tracked in the past by CCWESTT, the 2018 conference saw: 10 male speakers as part of the program, 30% of student volunteers were male, 15% of Policy Forum attendees were male, and 5% of conference attendees as male.
We had 100 participants in pre-conference professional development workshops:
- Microaggressions in the SETT Workplace (WinSETT Centre)
- Implicit and Unconscious Bias in the SETT Workplace (WinSETT Centre)
- Becoming a Leader (University of Calgary, Faculty of Engineering)
- Intersectionality (EngiQueers Canada)
There were over 500 attendees at the Policy Forum where two panels were held, which included prominent members of the community, Industry and Academic leaders and Provincial and Federal elected officials. There were six parallel streams, each day for two days, with a total of 65 individual workshops, panel discussions, Keynote presenters and panels, and/or presentations (excluding Youth Program) covering all disciplines of SETT. Over 20 different companies and organizations presented during the conference including Stantec, Enbridge, BioWare, Women Building Futures, APEGA, the City of Edmonton, and Engineers Canada. Topics covered included mentorship and early education, leadership, the immigrant experience, entrepreneurship, non-linear career paths, NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering updates, learnings from the 2017 Gender Summit, recruitment, and retention, and much more! Our closing banquet panel “Elevating the Leadership of Tomorrow”, which featured Kim Campbell.
An entire stream on Day 3 of the conference was dedicated to Indigenous Inclusivity. Speakers included prominent business and community leaders, Indigenous Elders and advocates. The sessions connected companies and individuals who actively support diversity and inclusion for Indigenous Peoples, shaping opportunities and industries, and enabling reconciliation. The questions raised and answered: "How can we learn from and leverage their successes” and “How can we all flourish as a result”?
We also hosted a youth program. Our Indigenous Youth Engagement stream was held on Day 2 of the conference sessions to provide opportunities for urban Indigenous Youth to engage with relatable mentors, see the change that they can become to their communities and world, imagine themselves being this change, and connect with resources to enable their pathways. Fifty-three Indigenous Youth from the Edmonton area attended, both boys and girls. Supplemental programming instilled pride in Indigenous Culture with Hoop Dancers and accomplished Elders and Indigenous Mentors. The Youth Program was held on Day 3 in partnership with DiscoverE from the University of Alberta, which included ~50 boys and girls from grades 1 through 9. From the Youth Essay competition for Grades 10-12 girls, four high school girls were selected to attend Day 3 of the conference. Lastly, 75 University of Alberta Engineering and Science student volunteers had their attendance at the conference sponsored.
Thank you, again, for supporting diversity and inclusion in SETT.