Friday, March 26, 2010

Carleton Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering

Ever since I attended my first Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2008, I've dreamt of having a celebration of our own. Today I released a schedule of talks and started working on media announcements for the realization of that dream. On April 8 2010 we will be hosting the very first Carleton Celebration of Women in Science and Engineering!

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago on the Carleton University Women in Science and Engineering blog:
The idea with this event is to bring together Carleton women who are studying or working in any science or engineering discipline, and share with each other and the rest of the Carleton community what we've been up to. After the talks, the idea is to get the speakers together for dinner on us. The Celebration will be a wonderful opportunity to network and to socialize. It is important to show ourselves that we are not alone and that we do amazing things!
When I put out the call for proposals, I was worried I wouldn't get enough speakers to fill the afternoon I booked our seminar room for. But as the deadline came closer, the abstracts poured in, and I had to extend the booking to fit everyone into the schedule! Not only that, but I got the perfect variety needed for a true Grace Hopper-style celebration. In addition to research presentations, we have professional development and outreach talks, inspirational stories, and a round table to discuss issues facing women in our fields.

Check out the official schedule on the CU-WISE website!

Today I also worked on getting the word out to the general Carleton community. When I spoke to the woman in charge of external communications, I realized I could not only put out an invitation to the general public to attend, but I was also able to invite the media. Together, these two opportunities are extremely valuable.

While many people outside of Carleton won't be able to come to talks during a work day, the very act of informing them of this event draws their attention to the fact that there really are successful women in science and engineering. Those parents that didn't think these were good careers for their daughters might start to see otherwise, and the young girls themselves might find the role models they so often seek.

So if you're anywhere near Carleton, I hope you'll consider coming to a few talks on April 8th. Show your support for the women speaking, and learn something new while you're at it!

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