Fewer women in STEM science and engineering careers

Women now make up nearly half the workforce but in one of the most important careers —Science Technology and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) — females are still underrepresented. Tundra Technical, a global recruitment firm with a focus on Technology and Engineering, made up its mind to do something about the disparity. On May 9 at 6 p.m., at the University of Toronto’s Hart House, Tundra will kick off the first of its cross-country mentorship events for women in STEM called the Launchpad Project. This two-part endeavour will help network more than 145 high school students with STEM leaders and includes ten $1,500 scholarships to be awarded to women pursuing STEM studies.

Among STEM graduates 25-34, only 23 per cent win degrees in engineering and just 30 per cent are math and computer science grads, according to StatsCan’s National Household Survey. To raise these numbers significantly, Tundra is connecting women about to graduate high school with female mentors who are already STEM career superstars. Young people considering science and technology careers rarely have the opportunity to interact with successful and high-level STEM leaders.  With the Launchpad Project, the star mentors will assist the future STEM grads by providing valuable educational and career insights, throughout their transition into their first year and possibly beyond.

At the event, Heather Payne, the highly influential founder of the pioneering Ladies Learning Code movement, will moderate a stellar panel of STEM leaders. Along with Payne, the Tundra Launchpad panel will include Leigha Mitchell, named to 2018’s Developer 30 Under 30, currently a software developer at FlashfoodInc; Yasmin Somani-Corringham, Senior Director, RBC Global Cloud Services & Operations; Ali Razavi, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Scotiabank; and Sandy Linke, Chief Information Officer (A) at Metrolinx, the regional transportation coordinator.

“Tundra has created the innovative Launchpad Project to jumpstart the careers of future female science and tech leaders,” said Tundra president Micah Williams. “Combining mentorship and $1,500 university scholarships, we can assist young women break through the glass ceiling one STEM at a time. As a leading global recruiter of engineering and technology talent, we believe it’s Tundra’s duty to balance the workforce for the better and help grow diversity in STEM studies. The Launchpad Project is a major first step toward achieving parity in this crucial and important career.”

Applications for the Tundra’s Launchpad Project can be found at scholartree.ca.

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