New Science Chair To Encourage Women

Asoil scientist from the University of Manitoba has been named the Prairie region s new Chair for Women in Science and Engineering by the National Sciences and Engineer ing Research Council (NSERC).

Annemieke Farenhorst will receive a total of $1.4 million over the next five years from NSERC and the additional funding partners: Manitoba Pork Council, University of Saskatchewan, Province of Manitoba, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Manitoba, Manitoba Institution of Agrologists, Canadian Society of Soil Science, the faculty of agricultural &food sciences, and the University of Manitoba.

A recently released Statistics Canada study shows women are employed in the areas of sciences, engineering and mathematics at much lower levels than men. In 2009, just 22.3 per cent of professionals in these occupations were women, up marginally from 19.5 per cent in 1987.

We anticipate this new chair will make an impact in promoting science and engineering opportunities to women and Aboriginal women in particular, as well as increasing public and institutional awareness of mechanisms that influence the participation of women in these fields, said Farenhorst in a release.

With the task of increasing discussions among women scientists and engineers, and their potential students, Farenhorst unveiled a new website dedicated to do just that.

In any mentorship program, typically the first hurdle is to establish a connection between the mentor and the student, explained Farenhorst. I plan to increase the ease of communication between women interested in a career in science and engineering and women who have established themselves as professionals in these fields.

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