Dr. Eugene Fiume
Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is hugely supportive of the efforts made by the organizations that support SFU's woman students, staff, and faculty in engineering, science, and technology in attracting more women to STEM. For our part, we recognise that this is a long-term issue in which equity, diversion, and inclusion is interleaved with all aspects of our work. Our faculty is deeply engaged in mutually supporting efforts, from developing new approaches to faculty hiring, to redesigning educational curricula, and to expanding our reach beyond the university to expand the future pool of qualified students. It is a long road to which we are fully committed, and we are seeing some of the fruits of our work in the significantly increased participation rate of women in our new School of Sustainability Energy Engineering. We hope to transfer that success to our others schools in the coming months and years.

Dr. Sarah D. Johnson
Associate Dean, Learning – Faculty of Science

The underrepresentation of women, people of colour, indigenous peoples and other groups in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a long-standing issue that deserves our attention. Things have improved substantially since I was a physics graduate student, but some fields such as physics, engineering and computer science still have a long way to go. Over the years SFU WEST has provided support to academia, industry and community organizations in their efforts to address the underrepresentation of women via initiatives that address the equity, diversity and inclusiveness of STEM. 

I am very familiar with the activities of SFU WEST, having received support for outreach activities aimed at girls in STEM from several of their programs myself. I look forward to finding ways that the Faculty of Science can collaborate with SFU WEST to advance our common goal of making STEM a more equitable, diverse and inclusive space.

Dr. Mary-Catherine Kropinski
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Faculty of Science

Over the past decade, significant progress has been made towards increasing the representation of women participating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at all levels, from students to leaders in academia and industry. However, all too many of the systemic barriers that I faced as a graduate student in the 90’s remain today. Gender-based violence continues to cut promising science careers short, and women still face bias at pivotal points in their career: in selection for awards, negotiating salary, or applying for promotion. The COVID-19 pandemic is a painful reminder of just how fragile are the gains made for women and other equity-deserving groups. Whether it was through significant caretaking responsibilities or additional emotional labour, it is predicted that the progress women in science have made could be set back years. This makes the organizations that support SFU's female students, staff, and faculty in engineering, science, and technology all the more critical.

Women in STEM organizations at SFU continue to provide essential advocacy, research, education, and opportunities supporting women in STEM on the west coast and across Canada. The Faculty of Science at Simon Fraser enthusiastically supports these organizations and we look forward to future collaborations.


Statements From Former Deans

Dr. Claire Cupples
Dean of the Faculty of Science

Since the beginning of my science education in the 1970’s, I have noticed a welcome increase in the numbers of women working as scientists, teaching at the post secondary level and making important contributions to scientific knowledge.  Even so, women are still underrepresented in science, technology and engineering . As these disciplines become more vital to Canada’s ability to compete with other industrialized economies, post-secondary institutions must provide every opportunity for women and men with interest and talent to participate in this landscape.

SFU WEST will assist young women in finding resources, connections and social and volunteer opportunities in the science, technology and engineering sectors and I am pleased to lend my support to this.

Dr. Claire Cupples
Dean, Faculty of Science
Simon Fraser University

Dr. Nimal Rajapakse
Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) proudly supports SFU WEST in its efforts to attract more female students to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The participation of female students in computing science and engineering programs has been quite low across Canada. Much more has to be done in collaboration with industry and schools to promote careers in STEM disciplines as attractive options for women.

As a Faculty committed to reinforcing excellence through diversity, we fully support the activities of SFU WEST and plan to work closely to recruit more female students to FAS and mentor them to become successful professionals.   

Dr. Nimal Rajapakse, P.Eng.
Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences
Simon Fraser University