Global cybersecurity firm Trend Micro announced it has partnered with Carleton University to launch the Women in Engineering and Information Technology (WiE&IT) program to support women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
As part of the program, women students at Carleton University will benefit from direct access to leading tech professionals at Trend Micro, who will help these students establish connections and set their tech careers up for success. Ultimately, they are helping the university bridge the gap between university and the workforce, a Carleton University spokesperson told IT World Canada.
Current women undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any of Carleton’s engineering and information technology programs, as well as in applicable science programs, are invited to participate in the WiE&IT program.
“Women don’t always view a career in STEM as an option, and this program is meant to level the playing field by providing a platform for them to showcase their talent and capabilities,” said Larry Kostiuk, Dean of the faculty of engineering and design at Carleton University.
At present, less than 25 per cent of the entire Canadian STEM workforce is female and Trend Micro says the WiE&IT program aims to close the gender gap in STEM careers by providing women undergraduate and graduate-level students access to tools, knowledge, and resources for a successful transition into the workforce.
The program launches this month and features a series of events and special initiatives running throughout Carleton’s fall and winter semesters. It will create mentorship opportunities for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, and provide a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting their EDI goals.
“Our program partners will support initiatives led by students and student groups, faculty, staff, and academic units seeking to make equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) commitments. Through the EDI@FED fund, our program will provide allies within the engineering and IT community with resources to support and advance their own EDI-related goals,” said the spokesperson.
Three types of event will be part of the program:
- Industry Talks, an opportunity for the program partners to share their EDI commitments, specifically in supporting women in STEM, with students. “There are multiple Industry Talks per year and these events profile a program partner, which is a great opportunity for our women students to ask prospective employers about their organization,” the spokesperson explained.
- One Industry Networking session per academic year, which is an opportunity for the university’s partners to speak with women students. The event will run like a speed networking event, where students will shuffle between rooms and learn more from program partners about how they can develop their employability skills. This is the flagship event, the spokesperson told the publication.
- Candid Conversations, supportive spaces for women students to hear from the program partners’ teams regarding their career trajectory and ask questions related to their personal experiences in the workplace. Multiple Candid Conversations will be hosted for program participants during the academic year, with each event profiling a program partner who will be able to speak freely to students about their personal experiences in the workforce and key moments of learnings they’ve had over the years.