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Happy Women’s Day on behalf of the CSPC

Dear Colleagues;

Happy Women’s Day

It is a great pleasure to mark this important day on behalf of the CSPC.

Throughout my years with the CSPC, and at every CSP Conference, I have learned that we still have a long way to go to ensure the equal participation of women in science and technology in Canada. Our own conference has witnessed the challenge of ensuring a gender balance of panelists at every conference, and the fact that we still have to remind a few panel organizers that the gender balance of the panel is a quality issue, and not luxury. It has also been challenging to find female panelists at the executive levels, further indicating the equality divide. Just last fall when I compared the number of CSPC 2015 female speakers in positions such as CEO, President, VP, etc, there was an obvious decline in the number of women in those positions. This is due to systematic barriers which prevent women from securing those positions, a problem that has roots in history, culture, policies etc. Providing equal opportunity to women is a human rights issue and is the responsibility of not just women, but men as well.

Canada along with many developed countries have done extensive work to improve the equal participation of women in science and technology. However, that should not make us complacent: we have so much more to do and International Women Day on March 8th is an excellent occasion to remind ourselves of the task ahead of us. This year, the UN has announced for the first time, that February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science which was another step forward.

Many thanks to the support from Dr. Imogen Coe, Dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson, and the hard work of Leslie Bone, PhD candidate at Ryerson and the editor of this page. In a matter of just a few days we have already received excellent submissions. I want to thank everyone who took the time and submitted their pieces. Let’s continue the work to ensure an equal representation of women in science and technology and to continue talking about the policies that support that vision.

Best

Mehrdad Hariri

CEO and President, Canadian Science Policy Centre