McMaster hosts Women in Engineering Excellence event
by Jessica Petruni
February 9, 2017
Dozens of female high school students came to McMaster University recently to learn what it’s like to be an engineer.
The annual Women in Engineering Excellence Day on February 3rd brought over 30 high school students together with female professors and current engineering students for a day filled with several activities including interactive workshops, shadowing current students to their classes, and a women in engineering panel.
“I learned a lot about women and strength. I know it’s all supposed to be about engineering today, but I feel like just listening to the speakers today, like the women that were speaking all about engineering, and that they are successful,” said attendee Mary Gervais, a grade 11 student from Notre Dame Secondary. “It really makes me reflect that I can be successful in any field that I go into, even if it’s male dominated, but like I’m really into engineering now because it makes me reflect on all my qualities and everything that I know that I can do well.”
Participants, most of whom were from Hamilton-area high schools, were able to experience what it’s like to be a female engineer, from the first year of university through to becoming a faculty member or industry professional.
“I’m hoping the girls take away what a supportive and embracing community the Faculty of Engineering is,” said Jessica Griffiths-Boissonneault, recruiting and promotions coordinator for the Faculty of Engineering. “Everyone has the same mentality; we are here to help you, and we are here to help you achieve your dreams.”
Ishwar K. Puri, McMaster’s Dean of Engineering, greeted students and spoke about the tremendous sense of community at the University, which ultimately sets McMaster Engineering apart from other institutions. “We have very many students, but at the heart of it we believe in connections,” Puri said during a lunchtime speech.
Attendees were able to gather advice and listen to the experiences of McMaster Engineering faculty members Kim Jones, Tracy Becker, student Erika Greco, Co-President Women in Engineering Society, and student Melissa Houghton, CEO and Co-founder Lumago Tech Inc.