Ensuring equal opportunity in tech begins early. Four discussion tracks will focusing on different stages of education and career for women and girls. 

In each track, you will hear from researchers examining the gender gap, get inspiration and insight from keynote speakers, and share your voice and experiences in working group sessions.


Early Childhood

rocking horse

Early Middle Years


Secondary To Post-Secondary





Opening Remarks

Welcome and greetings from:

  • Deputy Minister Tracey Maconachie, Economic Development and Training, Province of Manitoba
  • Dr. Jan Stewart, Interim Provost and Vice-President Academic at The University of Winnipeg
  • Video Message: Dr Jenni Sidey-Gibbons, Astronaut, Mechanical Engineer, Combustion Scientist, Lecturer
  • Ashley Smith, HR Manager, Ubisoft Winnipeg

9:15 - 10:00


Dr Victoria Kaspi

Dr. Victoria Kaspi is a Professor of Physics at McGill University, where she holds the Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology, and the Distinguished James McGill Chair

10:00 - 11:00

Breakout Session 1: The image of math and science among secondary school students and their career aspirations in STEM

Dr. Elena Makarova

The gender gap with male dominance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) remains persistent across most OECD countries. The development of occupational aspirations is based on judgement of the degree of match between individual self-image and the image of an occupation. In this process, the sex type of an occupation is especially crucial for career choice. Judging whether an occupational sex type is right or wrong for oneself is embedded in various social expectations associated with the socio-culturally established gender roles that children and youth acquire in socialization and educational contexts Gottfredson (2002, 2005).

Firstly, the present contribution analyzes the image of math and science among secondary school students (Makarova & Herzog, 2015). Secondly, it shows how science and scientists are portrayed in science textbooks for mathematics, physics and chemistry for upper secondary education (Herzog, Makarova, & Fanger, 2019; Wenger & Makarova, 2019). Thirdly, it reveals how the gendered image of science affects youths` career aspirations in STEM (Makarova, Aeschlimann, & Herzog, 2019). Finally, measures to combat gender-science stereotype and to improve gender inequality in science education will be discussed.

11:00 - 11:15


11:15 - 12:15

Breakout Session 2: Engaging students in research without spinning your wheels

Dr Nora Casson & Sidney Leggett (Wápiskisiw Pinésiw Iskwéw)

Engagement of undergraduate students in research has been demonstrated to correlate with improved academic performance and retention in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). There are particular challenges associated with recruiting and retaining women and members of other underrepresented groups. Mentoring programs can be critical for improving persistence and motivation in STEM programs. In this talk, I will describe two different mentoring programs aimed at undergraduate students at different stages of their careers, with a common theme of engaging students with research mentors.

12:15 - 1:15


1:15 - 2:25

Breakout Session 3: Why don’t more girls choose to pursue a science or engineering career? Evidence from PISA

Dr Tarek Mostafa

When new PISA data are published, many researchers around the world analyse them with the aim of shedding light on all sorts of questions. One question in search of an answer: why are women under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions? In this presentation, we take a look at the academic performance of boys and girls in mathematics and science and at their attitudes. Those are contrasted against students educational and career aspirations.

2:15 - 2:30


2:30 - 3:00

Track Discussion Session

3:00 - 3:45

Sharing Findings


Closing Remarks