The Toronto-based Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS) has received a $548,804 investment from the federal government to make its STEM services accessible to more young women.
“Giving girls role models and the opportunity to experience the lab and field environment for themselves is a key support for their future success.”
CAGIS’ goal is to promote, educate, and develop an interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics among girls aged seven to 16. The organization is one of the more than 250 women’s and Indigenous organizations serving women across Canada receiving funding under the Government of Canada’s Capacity-building Fund. This investment stems from the Budget 2018 announcement of $100 million over five years to support a women’s movement across Canada.
“When I started CAGIS back in 1992, I never dreamed that today could be possible,” said Larissa Vingilis-Jaremko, founder and president of CAGIS. “This welcome investment in our grassroots organization will go a long way toward supporting girls’ interests in STEM and helping them achieve their goals. Giving girls role models and the opportunity to experience the lab and field environment for themselves is a key support for their future success, and key to closing the gender gap in Canadian STEM.”
CAGIS was founded in 1992 by Vingilis-Jaremko, beginning with a single chapter and a group of 20 girls in London, Ont. Chapter members meet monthly to explore STEM with fun, hands-on activities led by women and men experts in a variety of STEM fields. The government stated that CAGIS currently does not have the capacity to meet the demand for their services, and this funding is meant to help make its services available to more young women.
The investment was administered by the Women and Gender Equality Canada’s Women’s Program. Through $100 million annual injections, the program aims to support eligible organizations in carrying out projects that advance gender equality by addressing systemic barriers. Projects were chosen through a call for proposals on distinct themes, as well as a continual process that allows the Women’s Program to address emerging issues as they arise.