The inaugural lecture was given by new faculty member Professor Sophie Rousseaux, and the second by Professor Molly Shoichet, who is the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science North American laureate for 2015. The focus of the series is to showcase successful women in all types of careers, from academia to industry, business, and entrepreneurship. “Providing role models of successful women is very important,” says Le. “That’s how people become motivated.” The group has also installed a family room in the Lash Miller building, participated in a Girls in STEM conference to empower the future generation of scientists, and has established a newsletter for those interested in the group’s activities.
Going forward, the group hopes to become involved in more outreach activities, and connect with women in chemistry at other universities. They would like to reach out to girls in elementary school or high school to emphasize that it is possible to pursue a career in science, irrespective of gender.
While Women in Chemistry groups can be found throughout the US and the American Chemical Society maintains a Women Chemists Committee, this appears to be a niche need that is largely unrealized in Canada, which is something that Women in Chemistry hopes to change. They first aim to connect with women working in chemistry at other institutions in the GTA, such as York and Ryerson, and in the future, may advocate for a group within the Chemical Institute of Canada. In the meantime, the group will focus on the needs of current students, and will host their first professional development workshop, created specifically for women in chemistry. Le hopes that by providing an additional support system and training for female graduate students in chemistry, they can begin to realize their own potential as future leaders in academia, industry, and business.
Participation in Women in Chemistry is open to all, and in addition to graduate students, the group’s member base includes many female professors, lecturers, and school teachers. Women in Chemistry would especially like to encourage alumni to connect, and interested parties can reach the group at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the social media channels Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
By Mandy Koroniak
Posted November 24, 2015