Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 - NewsMaker

WATERLOO, ON - (Marketwired, Sep 15, 2015) - The University of Waterloo will award 24 outstanding female students a total of $288,000 over the next four years as part of a new scholarship supporting ongoing efforts to achieve comprehensive, long-term and sustainable gender equality.

The University of Waterloo HeForShe IMPACT Scholarships will annually award six female students who apply to science, technology, engineering and math programmes -- known as STEM -- with $12,000 each for the duration of their studies.

"I'm so inspired by the University of Waterloo's efforts to achieve gender equality in our lifetimes," said Emma Watson, UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador. "Their commitment to women in STEM is unparalleled. This scholarship programme is a perfect example of how the HeForShe movement is generating tangible change around the world."

UN Women, the United Nations entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women, created the HeForShe initiative that was launched by UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in September 2014.

Waterloo, a global leader in innovation, is one of 10 universities around the world committing to take bold, game-changing action to achieve gender equality as part of the UN HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 framework. HeForShe is a global effort to engage men and boys in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from achieving their potential, and together positively reshaping society.

"We must continue to find ways to ensure that young women and girls have greater access and better experiences in traditionally male-dominated disciplines," said Feridun Hamdullahpur. "This scholarship programme recognizes some of the most talented young women who are embarking on STEM careers and helps to keep them in those programmes. I am immensely proud of these students and pleased that the University can offer them support as they start their journeys to become the leaders of tomorrow."

Waterloo is working in partnership with UN Women, the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

"With an estimated 90 per cent of all future jobs requiring ICT skills, and with climate change and clean technology sectors representing a 6.4 trillion dollar opportunity in the next decade, nurturing women in STEM careers is a vital investment -- in them and in our future", said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. "With these scholarships, we have the chance to establish greater gender balance in STEM fields, ensuring that women offer relevant skills to future employers and have a solid path to both academic leadership positions and creative scientific careers."

This year's recipients of the University of Waterloo HeForShe IMPACT Scholarships are:

  • Sarah Muth (Mathematical Physics, Port Dover, ON)
  • Sally Hui (Mechatronics Engineering, East York, ON)
  • Anya Forestell (Physics and Astronomy, Fredericton, NB)
  • Anqi Yang (Computer Science, Surrey, BC)
  • Jing Ma (Computer Engineering, Whitby, ON)
  • Zhuo Yu (Mathematics, Weihai, China)

The six young women are all first-year students at Waterloo commencing studies this week. Read more about the first University of Waterloo HeForShe IMPACT Scholarship recipients.

"The University of Waterloo really caught my eye last summer, while I was participating in the International Summer School for Young Physicists in Waterloo," said Anya Forestell. "Receiving this scholarship is a huge honour for me. HeForShe is an admirable programme and I am so grateful for the help."

Focusing on the most gender-disparate STEM experiences, the University of Waterloo is committed to expanding the pipeline of women pursuing STEM education and careers and has specifically targeted boosting female enrollment in outreach programs to 33 per cent by 2020.

"In the technology courses that I took in high school, in a classroom of twenty people, there were maybe five females," said Sally Hui. "It is good to not have to depend on my parents as much and it will be a really good incentive to study really hard to keep the scholarship."

Working alongside governments, leading universities and global businesses, the University of Waterloo is making three commitments to achieve gender equality by developing innovative programming aimed at a full spectrum of women, from young girls right through to the University's senior leadership.

The University of Waterloo committed to:

  • Boost participation of female students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences and academic careers to build the pipeline of future female leaders in traditionally male dominated disciplines
  • Enhance the representation of female faculty to improve the campus environment today and drive towards parity in the future
  • Attract and advance female leaders to senior academic and administrative positions at the University

About the University of Waterloo

In just half a century, the University of Waterloo, located at the heart of Canada's technology hub, has become one of Canada's leading comprehensive universities with 35,000 full- and part-time students in undergraduate and graduate programmes. A globally focused institution, celebrated as Canada's most innovative university for 23 consecutive years, Waterloo is home to the world's largest post-secondary co-operative education programme and encourages enterprising partnerships in learning, research and discovery. In the next decade, the university is committed to building a better future for Canada and the world by championing innovation and collaboration to create solutions relevant to the needs of today and tomorrow. For more information about Waterloo, please visit uwaterloo.ca.

About HeForShe

HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls upon men and boys to stand up against the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally. The campaign strengthens the support for women's rights as human rights by enlisting the support of men and exhorting them to put themselves forward as advocates for gender equality. For more information, visit http://www.heforshe.org/.

Attention broadcasters: Waterloo has facilities to provide broadcast quality audio and video feeds with a double-ender studio . Please contact us to book.

Media Contact

Nick Manning
University of Waterloo
519-888-4451
226-929-7627
www.uwaterloo.ca/news
www.twitter.com/uwaterloonews

 

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