2018: A Year in Review

December 14, 2018

Written By: Alicen Ricard

Lots of things have happened in 2018 and we’ve been pretty productive here at WWEST. We’ve worked hard at not only expanding our current projects, but adding new ones as well.

Here are some of the highlights:

WWEST Associate Chairs Program

One of the biggest things we did this year was the creation of the WWEST Associate Chairs Program. The program’s goal is to establish satellite programs across BC and the Yukon at NSERC-eligible institutions to increase impact in communities outside of the lower mainland of BC. In January 2018 we announced the WWEST Associate chair at Yukon college which is held by Alison Anderson who is a Technology Innovation Officer at Yukon College (See the Press Release.) In September 2018 we announced the WWEST Associate chair at UBC Okanagan which is held by Jennifer Jakobi who is an Associate Professor at the School of Health and Exercise Sciences UBCO (See the Press Release.) We are excited about the impact these programs have had in 2018, notably the recent report on Women in STEM in the Yukon  that was published as a joint effort with the WWEST Associate Chair at Yukon College. We look forward to seeing both programs continue their efforts in 2019.

Step Up Workshop

The WWEST Chair in conjunction with the NSERC CWSE National Network and Simon Fraser University, hosted the Step-up Workshop, a national workshop for women who are Assistant and Associate Professors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and are looking ahead to tenure and promotion. The women got advice, support, and information on this strategic next step in their careers. Workshop participants travelled from all over Canada, including those from Toronto and Calgary, and all costs associated with the workshop were covered to ensure the opportunity was accessible to all. WWEST also invited SFU lecturers to participate, a first for this workshop developed by the NSERC CWSE National Network, and the content seemed to fit this additional audience well.


Creating Connections 6.0

We’ve been preparing for the next Creating Connections conference which will be May 3-4, 2019. Creating Connections is a biennial conference for science, engineering and technology students and professionals. The conference covers topics on gender diversity and aims to engage meaningful dialogue about diversity in science, engineering and technology disciplines. This in turn builds capacity for individuals and organizations to engage in transformative and long‐lasting change in STEM fields. This conference began as a symposium and has now grown into five biennial conferences gaining audiences of hundreds of STEM professionals, academics and students. The audience includes people of all genders, people in career transition, managers and human resource professionals, and members of the wider community. Don’t miss out on any updates on this conference by signing up for Creating Connections 6.0 Conference Updates here.

Best of the WWEST

The Best of the WWEST Podcast has only gotten bigger since last year. We now have 45 inspiring episodes, including 7 Yukon edition episodes from our WWEST Associate Chair at Yukon College. Some of our favourite episodes include:

Angie Byron, Drupal Core Committer
Holly Burton, Leadership Coach
Deanna Burgart, Indigeneer
Dr. Lori Brotto, Psychologist & Professor, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Kai Scott, Principal Partner, TransFocus Consulting

We look forward to more great episodes in 2019. You can listen to all our episodes at or wherever you get your podcasts.


We’ve had over 30 blog posts this year on vast topics everywhere from Parental Leave to profiles on historical women in STEM to the wage gap. We’ve also expanded our Media Depictions of Women in STEM series, which is now up to 15 blog posts. Some of our favourite blog posts this year were:

Thank you for supporting us this year, whether it's subscribing to our newsletter, following our Twitter or Facebook accounts, or coming to events we've hosted. Here's to more networking, teaching and learning, and fostering of diverse STEM communities in 2019!

Make sure to also see our full 36-month report for details on everything we've done at WWEST since 2015.