NSERC Chair for Women in Science & Engineering Program - Strategic Directions for Wise Intiatives
At the 12th National CCWESTT Conference: Building on Success, there was a workshop to solicit ideas from conference participants on strategic directions for promoting the participation of women in SETT. The focus of the workshop was to discuss how the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (CWSE) program can best support the work of relevant stakeholders and to identify what support and resources may be available from stakeholders to enable the CWSE program to function better. The session was held on the final day of the conference (31st of May 2008) and was attended by approximately 50 women who had participated in the conference. These women represented various interest groups (stakeholders) including: undergraduate and graduate students in science and engineering, social science researchers/academics, professional engineers and scientists, and those working in advocacy programs. The 5 current NSERC chairs representing (1) the Atlantic provinces, (2) British Columbia & Yukon, (3) Ontario, (4) the Prairie provinces, and (5) Quebec, were also in attendance. The workshop participants were asked to grapple with two questions: 1) How can the NSERC Chairs Programs make a meaningful contribution to the success of your work? 2)How can your work make a meaningful contribution to the NSERC Chairs Program? Participants were encouraged to contemplate the questions with their specific interest group (e.g., student, researcher) in mind. The participants were assigned to 4 different groups. Three groups were asked to focus on question one and the fourth group was asked to focus on second question. Under the guidance of a facilitator, the groups held discussions and generated responses to the questions. Individual participants also responded to the questions on paper. This report summarizes the ideas generated from both groups and individuals during the session.