The representation of women in physics in Canada is low: 21% of BSc, 24% of MSc, and 19% of PhD graduates are women [1]. Corresponding figures in Engineering Physics are 12%, 10% and 14%, respectively [1]. In order to address this problem a group at the Perimeter Institute and the Institute for Quantum Computing, in Waterloo, Ontario held the first Canadian Women in Physics conference in the summer of 2011. A second Women in Physics Canada conference was held at the University of British Columbia in 2012. The third annual conference will be held July 25-27 at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC.

This conference, aimed at young women in all areas of physics: graduate students, as well as early career physicists and postdocs, provides an opportunity for the participants to present their research and network with other women physicists. It also includes invited plenary talks by senior women physicists and panel discussions on pertinent topics such as career issues. The idea is that the support a conference like this provides will increase the retention of women who have already chosen to pursue physics as a career.

[1] Canadian Association of University Teachers Almanac of Post Secondary Education in Canada, 2010. CAUT Almanac