While the fields of engineering and information technology continue to evolve, there is one thing that stays constant – the commitment to recruiting and retaining more women in STEM.

Carleton University’s Faculty of Engineering and Design launched its inaugural Women in Engineering and IT (WiE&IT) Program back in 2021, one of the first of its kind in Canada. The program had a tremendous impact on our women students (76% of attendees who participated said that it helped them develop a network of women connections in STEM). After many months of consultations, surveys, and program innovation, we are pleased to announce the program is returning with more offerings and more partners.

Over the next three years, women students in an engineering or information technology related program at Carleton University will have access to: mentorship, networking, and soft-skill development opportunities; a study lounge and a resume portal.

Programs like these are not possible without the support of industry leaders. We are thrilled to welcome returning program partners: CAE, Gastops, CIRA, CGI, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin, Ross, Amdocs, Blackberry QNX, EllisDon, Ericsson, Fullscript, Nokia, and Solace, and new program partners Alstom, Ciena, DeHavilland Aircraft of Canada LimitedMarch Networks, and PCL Construction.

New: Study Lounge and Resume Portal 

“It was important for us to have conversations with women students about the elements of the program that worked and the elements that could be improved. The new iteration of the program places an emphasis on community building and skill development,” said Dean Larry Kostiuk.

One of the new elements of the program is a study lounge for women students, located in the Engineering Design Centre, the Mackenzie attachment. The room is equipped with tables, chairs, white boards, and a mobile tv display that can be moved and reconfigured based on a students’ desired layout. Students will be encouraged to use the space to do school work, develop personal connections and access graduate-level women study support.

Six graduate students from mechanical and aerospace, systems and computer, electronics, civil and environmental engineering, information technology, and computer science will host drop-in sessions in the lounge for students throughout the week. Their role is to provide academic support and highlight campus resources – a model we have found success with through our Elsie MacGill Learning Centre.

Another new program element is our resume book, a platform for students to upload their resume for our program partners to view and consider for co-op, internship, and job opportunities. Students will be encouraged to access the Career Service department’s resume feedback services before uploading their content to the portal. They will also be able to swap out iterations of their resume as they learn new skills and gain new experiences throughout their academic year.

Continued Commitment to Mentorship and Networking 

“Candid Conversations” events are being replaced with “Mentorship Nights”, intimate conversations for women students to learn from working professionals in STEM. Mentorship Nights will be held four times during the academic year (twice in the fall and twice in the winter) where students can participate in a roundtable discussion and learn: networking tips and tricks, job/co-op application process in STEM, how to communicate effectively, and how to transition from university to the workplace.

“Industry Talks” events are being replaced with “Workshop Day”, a soft-skill development day for women students to learn about personal branding, resume writing, and interview preparation from highly trained professionals who specialize in these areas.

Signature events like the Career and Networking Fair and Open Houses will return, due to popular demand. The Fair will introduce or reaffirm our program partners’ commitment to closing the gender gap in STEM as they will share information on what their organizations do as well as how they support their women employees through equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments. The Open House will be a tour of CAE and Gastops’ office spaces (each held on separate days) where students will get a snapshot of what it’s like to work in the field of engineering and information  technology by talking with employees and seeing the organization from the inside.

Looking Ahead

As the Faculty of Engineering and Design enters this new program phase, we are fueled by a collective dedication to fostering community, skill development, and career opportunities for women students. With a study lounge and a dynamic resume portal, the program’s evolution mirrors the ever-changing landscape of engineering and IT. We thank our returning program partners for their continued support and welcome new partners who share our vision. Together, we are not only bridging the gender gap but building a diverse, innovative, and inclusive future for STEM.

For more information about the program or to discuss partnership opportunities, connect with our Program Administrator

Tuesday, August 29, 2023 in , , , , , ,
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