Creating Connections forum (May 22 & 23) champions diversity in STEM fields

May 11, 2015

On May 22 and 23, SFU will host Creating Connections 4.0, a public forum for business and academia to explore the topics of professional development, leadership and diversity, with a focus on those working in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. 

Opening keynote speaker Amyn Rajan, CEO of big data company Simba Technologies, will address workplace diversity in his talk “The Business Case for Diversity.”  Improving gender balance in technology, in particular, is a topical issue both in Canada and the U.S. For the remainder of May 22, the Leadership and Diversity track will focus on leaders/managers, as well as self-identified future leaders in industry, and will provide resources and information that will help them create and maintain a gender-diverse workforce for their company.

The Professional Development track on May 23 features well-known keynote speakers and networking opportunities. For those at the beginning of their professional careers, issues such as confidence, outreach, and career paths are covered, whereas more senior people can attend panels discussing key issues such as STEM outreach.

Inspiring attendees to achieve a more gender-balanced and productive workplace are key goals of Creating Connections, with the diverse speakers helping to support these ideas. Some of the speakers on May 22-23 include:

·   Five-time Olympic medalist Hayley Wickenheiser, regarded as one of the best female hockey players in the world, will discuss the benefits that come from re-inventing yourself.

·   The Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Canada’s nineteenth and first female Prime Minister, is part of an evening panel debating the need for Diversity in Leadership. Joining her are speakers from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, Annex Consulting Group, Ernst and Young and LifeLabs.

·  Martha Salcudean, Professor Emerita in UBC’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, shares her journey from Romania to Canada to eventually become an Officer of the Order of Canada.

·  Entrepreneur Shannon Byrne Susko, from CEOZEN Consulting Inc., talks about growing yourself and your team while scaling your business.

Creating Connections 4.0 is the 4th installment in the Creating Connections conference series, the most recent conference occurring in May 2013 at the University of British Columbia.

Childcare is available through Science Al!ve day camp