UVic Women in Science (UVic WIS) is a student-led initiative focused on building a supportive and engaging network for women currently involved or interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. On November 29th, UVic WIS hosted its annual research event, the UVic WIS 2018 STEM Research Symposium, at the University of Victoria. This research symposium featured educational, insightful, and thought-provoking presentations and panel discussions from women in various STEM fields, from both academia and industry. Keynote speakers included: Dr. Bari Zahedi, Senior Process Scientist at STEMCELL Technologies; Dr. Amanda Malone, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Eupraxia Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Laura Arbour, Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC and Medical Geneticist at Vancouver Island Health Authority; Dr. Katherine Elvira, Professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in the Department of Chemistry at UVic; Dr. Sara Ellison, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UVic; and Dr. Kathy Gillis, Professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UVic. These outstanding women in STEM fields shared their research work, perspectives on women representation in academia and industry, and personal takes on their career journeys with the event’s broad audience, which included high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, staff, and members of the general public. To top it off, women in STEM conducting research at undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral levels at UVic showcased their work in poster presentations and rapid-fire talks. These presentations were an excellent opportunity to highlight the amazing work of current and next generations of women entering into the STEM community at UVic. Overall, the experiences and topics voiced at this symposium left attendees inspired and equipped with tools to overcome challenges and plan career paths within STEM fields.
By Chloe Cristensen