Vancouver-based Visier, which provides workforce intelligence solutions, announced that it has partnered with Simon Fraser University’s faculty of applied science (SFU), and the University of British Columbia’s faculty of science and department of computer science to encourage more students, particularly girls, to explore careers in STEM.
The partnerships are part of Visier’s giving program, Visier Gives, which encourages employees to give back to their communities and provides four paid days off for volunteer activities each year.
“In order to convince more women to pursue careers in STEM, it is crucial that we provide opportunities for young girls to engage in fun activities that help to counter stereotypes surrounding STEM fields,” said Lesley Shannon, an associate professor at SFU’s school of engineering science. “Visier’s commitment to fund programs that engage and inspire the next generation of women to pursue STEM has the potential to benefit society as a whole by increasing the diversity and innovation of those in the STEM fields.
“In order to convince more women to pursue careers in STEM, it is crucial that we provide opportunities for young girls to engage in fun activities that help to counter stereotypes surrounding STEM fields.”
– Lesley Shannon
Through its partnership with SFU, Visier will support several programs including SFU Technovation, a 12-week competition that invites girls aged 10 to 18 to work in teams and develop an app that addresses a local community issue; Science AL!VE, a student-led program that introduces youth to STEM through hands-on and interactive activities; Try/CATCH (Computing and Technology Conference for Her), a one-day event that invites high school girls to learn about computer science and engineering; and Annual WiCS-WiE hackathon, a 12-hour ideation and coding competition between students across the faculty of applied sciences.
“While the race to out-innovate with new ideas and products fuels the technology industry at large, the competition between companies is fought most pervasively on the talent front lines,” said Ryan Wong, president and CTO at Visier. “Innovation and ideas come from people. Knowing the potential of STEM, we’ve decided that a key cornerstone of our Visier Gives program will be to encourage more youth, and especially young women, to explore their interest in STEM.”
Through its partnership with UBC’s faculty of science, Visier will provide support to computer science students through programs including the Visier Project Kickstart Fund, a donation to Project Club to encourage computer science undergrad students to create new projects; Visier Service Award in Computer Science, an award for computer science students who display excellence in community service and leadership; the Visier Service Award for Women in Computer Science, which recognizes a female computer science student who has displayed excellence in community service, leadership, and volunteerism; and GIRLsmarts4tech Workshops, through which Visier will provide bursaries for girls that can’t afford the workshop fees.
“Our department is very grateful to Visier for its generosity, helping to promote and strengthen diversity and outreach, which are extremely important goals for us,” said Chen Grief, professor and head of the computer science department at UBC.
Visier raised $60 million CAD in Series D financing in March.