More than 50 aspiring female engineers gathered at the University of Toronto for the annual Young Women in Engineering Symposium (YWIES) on Saturday, October 1.
Now in its third year, the symposium brought together high-achieving high-school students for a day of hands-on workshops, talks and discussion panels designed to inspire young women to choose U of T Engineering.
The day opened with a welcome and presentation by Associate Director of the Engineering Student Recruitment & Retention Office Michelle Beaton. Current U of T Engineering student ambassadors then led YWIES delegates in icebreaker activities, before attendees participated in workshops facilitated by Professor Jason Foster (EngSci) and First-year Office Professor Chirag Variawa in the Faculty’s unique Technology-Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL) rooms.
Following lunch, University Professor Molly Shoichet (IBBME, ChemE), a world-renowned researcher and pioneering biomedical engineer, delivered the keynote address. YWIES 2016 concluded with a ‘Mythbusters Panel’ of engineering students. Moderated by Tessa Pietropaolo (Year 4 MIE), symposium attendees heard first-hand about academics, student life and more from Anike Morrison (Year 2 ECE), Xinli Tu (Year 2 CivE), Adriana Karababas (Year 3 ChemE), Julia Filiplic (Year 3 MIE) and Jenn Dixon (Year 3 MSE).
Diversity is a core value of U of T Engineering — for the past three years, more than 30 per cent of incoming first-year students have been women, and this past fall that number reached 39.6 per cent, the highest proportion in the Faculty’s history. U of T Engineering undergraduate students come from 75 countries around the world, enriching the student experience with a wide array of ideas and perspectives.
The YWIES is just one component of the Faculty’s commitment to enhancing diversity, alongside innovative outreach programs such as the Girls Leadership in Engineering Experience (GLEE) and Girls’ Jr. DEEP events.