University of Waterloo Awarding 24 #HeForShe Scholarships to women in STEM programs

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The University of Waterloo announced yesterday that it will award 24 outstanding female students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs $12,000 each for the duration of their studies, under the University of Waterloo HeforShe IMPACT scholarships. The University of Waterloo is working in partnership with UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

The University of Waterloo is committed to boosting female enrollment in outreach programs to 33 percent by 2020.

“We must continue to find ways to ensure that young women and girls have greater access and better experiences in traditionally male-dominated disciplines,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of the University of Waterloo. “This scholarship programme recognizes some of the most talented young women who are embarking on STEM careers and helps to keep them in those programmes.”

The University of Waterloo is one of 10 universities around the world committed to the UN HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 framework for gender equality. UN Women created the HeForShe initiative, launched by UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in September 2014.

“I’m so inspired by the University of Waterloo’s efforts to achieve gender equality in our lifetimes,” said Watson. “Their commitment to women in STEM is unparalleled. This scholarship programme is a perfect example of how the HeForShe movement is generating tangible change around the world.”

The recipients for this year, who are all first-year students, include Sara Muth (mathematical physics), Sally Hui (mechatronics engineering), Anya Forestell (physics and astronomy), Anqi Yang (computer science), Jing Ma (computer engineering), and Zhuo Yu (mathematics). The University has said that it is committed to boosting female enrollment in outreach programs to 33 percent by 2020.

“In the technology classes that I took in high school, in a classroom of twenty people, there were maybe five females,” said Hui. “It is good to not have to depend on my parents as much and it will be a really good incentive to study really hard and to keep the scholarship.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor.