March 8, 2019
Vancouver, British Columbia ─ The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, was at the University of British Columbia on International Women’s Day and met with the Women in Science group where he spoke of the importance of celebrating women and girls in underrepresented fields, especially science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and heard from their experience.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated every year on March 8th, and has grown to become a global day of recognition of women’s achievements and a call to action to support women’s rights and advance gender equality.
This year, we are celebrating International Women’s Day with the Innovate For Change campaign which recognizes the importance of removing barriers that women and girls face in STEM. Gender equality is a fundamental human right and advancing gender equality is part of the Government of Canada’s progressive agenda. We know empowering women and girls is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. Gender equality will drive more innovation, unleash new ideas and solutions and transform our society and help grow the Canadian economy.
In Canada, only a third of graduates in STEM are women, a difference that’s magnified in fields such as engineering and computer science. Meanwhile, Canada and other countries face major job shortages in many STEM fields. When women are held back from filling high-quality jobs like these, Canada’s economy is also held back. Today, people across the country are invited to recognize the women and girls in STEM who inspire them. By celebrating their achievements on International Women’s Day, and every day of the year, we can encourage more women and girls to follow in the footsteps of these women, pursue their passions, and change the world for the better.
Following the meet-and-greet with the students, the Minister encouraged everyone to share a story or picture about women and girls in STEM at #InnovateForChange and spoke to the important role and contributions of the many women who work for the Department of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.