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March 31, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University, in collaboration with Vidyard, a Kitchener-based online video platform company, will present a panel discussion focused on making education and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) more inclusive.
Inclusive Pathways in STEM: A Discussion with Local Leaders will feature Deborah MacLatchy, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor; Shohini Ghose, professor of Physics and Computer Science, NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering, and director of Laurier’s Centre for Women in Science; and Michael Litt, co-founder and chief executive officer of Vidyard. The discussion will take place on April 8 from noon to 1 p.m. via Zoom. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
“This panel discussion is necessary because it bridges the gap between post-secondary institutions and careers in the tech sector, giving us a chance to identify opportunities for greater structural change needed to attract and retain underrepresented groups,” said Eden Hennessey, the event’s moderator, manager of Laurier’s Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and research and programs director of the Centre for Women in Science. “I’m excited for this discussion because students and employees in technology sectors want to know what leaders are doing to address disparities and discrimination at the institutional level. People want action that will truly enact change.”
MacLatchy, Ghose and Litt will speak about the pathways they’ve worked to build to further equity and inclusion in STEM, as well as the steps needed to continue making progress.
“There is a lot that still needs to change and advance in STEM in order to be more inclusive and capture the opportunity that more diverse representation can offer,” said Litt. “We are constantly striving to improve our processes and representation at Vidyard and hope this discussion with Laurier will facilitate an ongoing dialogue about how to best support those who are not currently represented.”
Past work to encourage gender inclusivity in STEM fields has focused on education and mentorship for women and girls, but these efforts haven’t significantly increased representation in fields such as engineering, especially for women and girls of colour. Recently, the focus has shifted to addressing systemic barriers in STEM education and careers, such as the prevalence of biases and stereotypes about women’s abilities among leaders in the fields. The upcoming panel discussion will address systemic barriers to changing the culture of science and provide recommendations for ways to increase equity and inclusion in STEM.
Vidyard helps businesses and professionals connect with their audiences in a new way through engaging, personalized and measurable video experiences. Through its global video hosting and analytics platform, Vidyard empowers businesses including LinkedIn, Zycus, League, Stanley Black & Decker, and others to transform their approach to marketing, sales and corporate communications. Vidyard helps any business professional create and share custom videos to deliver their message in a more personal and impactful way through its free and pro tools. Thousands of businesses and millions of people around the world rely on Vidyard for their video needs. Find out more about Vidyard.
Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to academic excellence. Laurier’s holistic approach to learning integrates innovative programming with hands-on experience outside the classroom to ensure Laurier graduates are not only ready for the future, but are inspired to leave their mark on the world. As a community of researchers, leaders and educators, Laurier builds knowledge that serves society and creates connections that have a lasting impact. Learn more about Laurier’s more than 20,000 students in nine faculties and a federated university college in Waterloo, Brantford and Kitchener at wlu.ca.
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Sharline Doss, Community Relations Officer
Government and Community Relations, Wilfrid Laurier University
Lori Chalmers Morrison, Director: Integrated Communications
External Relations, Wilfrid Laurier University
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