Canada's Original Think Tank

February 7, 2018 – Women and Girls in STEM

February 7, 2018 – Women and Girls in STEM

February 7, 2018 – Women and Girls in STEM

The Open Caucus, a forum for discussion on issues of national importance, was first established in 2014 when Senate Liberals opened their Caucus doors to the public on Wednesday mornings. The Open Caucus is now co-sponsored by the Independent Senators Group (ISG) and the Independent Senate Liberals. This non-partisan collaboration brings together two groups representing the majority of the Senate’s current membership.

This non-partisan discussion is open to all Members of Parliament, Senators, parliamentary staff, media, and the public.

Women and girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields continue to be underrepresented in Canada. While some progress has occurred, it has been at a very slow pace. In 1987, 20% of people working in STEM were female, compared to 22% today. Women working in STEM fields disproportionately end up in lower-paying technical roles than higher paid professional ones, earning only 82% of what men do.

STEM-related knowledge and skills are increasingly in demand in the global economy, paying higher incomes relative to other occupations. With the persistent underrepresentation, it will be difficult to close, or narrow, the overall gender wage gap. In recognition of International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th, we explore what deters or prevents women and girls from studying and entering STEM fields, and what can Canada do to ensure women and girls are given equal opportunities in scientific careers?

Panelists included:

  • Dr. Ismael Mourifié: Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Toronto. Recipient of the Polanyi Prize in Economic Science for his research on women and girls in STEM
  • Dr. Anjali Agarwal: Professor and Associate Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Concordia University. Advocate for recruiting and retaining female students in STEM field.
  • Doug Dokis: Senior Advisor, National Indigenous Youth in STEM (InSTEM) Program at Actua. Develops and delivers STEM programming to Indigenous youth across Canada
  • Beata Caranci: Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for TD Bank Group. Author of 2017 TD report that examines the educational system and workplace environment for women in STEM field

The meeting took place:

Wednesday February 7, 2018
9:30 am – 11:30 am
Room 160-S, Centre Block


Floor feed

English feed

French feed