University of New Brunswick students to host Girls STEM Up Conference

Nine female students at the University of New Brunswick are organizing Girls STEM Up, a conference encouraging young women to join, and celebrating diversity in, the STEM field.

Girls STEM Up, being held in Fredericton, New Brunswick, is open to women currently attending high school or post-secondary school. Allies, students who do not identify as female but support female representation, are also being encouraged to attend the event.

For men and women who both have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the pay gap is $19,750 annually.

The event will address barriers and opportunities for women pursuing careers and studies in STEM. Speakers from STEM industries will be sharing personal experiences regarding professional and personal development, as well as female empowerment in the workplace.

Following the conference, Girls STEM Up will be hosting a networking event for speakers and delegates. Attendees will also receive the opportunity to submit their resumes, to be forwarded to partners and sponsors of Girls STEM Up. Businesses will then have the option to contact individuals if their profile matches open job opportunities. Partners of the event include J.D. Irving, McCain Foods, and Salesforce.

“We were incredibly excited when JDI extended an offer as the title sponsor,” said Jillian Lamb, the Girls STEM Up conference chair, and one of the nine UNB students organizing the event. “To us, it was validation that someone else believed in the same vision and goals.”

The team at Girls STEM Up expects over 250 students to attend the conference, and are working to schedule about 20 speakers. Keynote speaker Shoushi Bakarian from Concordia University will be speaking about her experience as a refugee, and pursuing her passion for STEM as an aerospace engineering student. She is the co-inventor and designer of Ventus, a clean energy ventilation device.

“We are pleased to partner and sponsor the upcoming Girls STEM Up conference, a first for New Brunswick,” said Colleen Baxter, VP of human resources with JDI. “We are committed to help empower the younger generation of females to get excited about pursuing careers in STEM.”

The event is calling itself the first conference in Atlantic Canada focused on empowering women and young, female students in the STEM fields. Recent studies have shown the persisting gap between women in men in these fields. A recent report conducted by the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, found that when comparing the pay between men and women who both have a bachelor’s degree or higher, the pay gap is about $19,750 annually.

The full-day conference will be held at the Fredericton Convention Centre on March 23.

Featured image via Pixabay.


Sera Wong

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