Throughout Canadian universities, there is a staggering gender gap in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computer science (STEM) fields.

Canadians Working for Inclusivity in Chemical Sciences, Engineering and Technology Network promotes inclusivity, equity, and diversity in the chemical sciences across Canada by developing a community for women and minorities.

How We Inspire Change

“I feel that the entire process has been super positive as I have learned so much about what I hope to do in my last year. Furthermore, I feel that I have learned so many strategies in approaching/applying for research, coping with mental health, understanding what the “upper” academic environment is like…”

U of T WIC mentee

CWIC works for change by:

  • Creating mentor-mentee partnerships between women and other under represented groups (URG) in the chemical sciences.
    • Over the past two years, 60 mentors and 97 mentees have participated in this mentorship program.
  • Promoting, engaging with, and advocating for women in STEM fields in our universities.
  • Providing outreach to youth and the public.
  • Holding Leaders Overcoming Gender Inequality in Chemistry (LOGIC) retreats to provide professional development and networking opportunities to women and URG in the chemical sciences.
  • Creating a database of resources and contacts (especially influential leaders) to provide a structure for future growth.
  • Measuring impact through participant feedback surveys.

WIC Groups Across Canada

CWIC Leaders

Meet our executive board.

Dr. Holly Fruehwald, Chief Executive Officer

Holly Fruehwald is from Brampton, Ontario, she moved to Oshawa in 2011 where she began her degree in chemistry. She then went on to complete her PhD in Materials Science in 2022 at Ontario Tech University. She is now currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo. Her research interests are in the development and characterization of catalysts for clean electrochemical energy systems. In her free time, she likes reading books about space, space travel, and astronauts in hopes to one day visit another planet.

Lo Grant, Chief Marketing Officer

I am Lo (They/she). I am a PhD student at Saint Mary’s University in Dr. Clarissa Sits lab. My research is looking at the impact of yeasts on natural wine fermentation. I am part of the Saint Mary’s Chemistry department EDI committee and the social media manager for CWIC. For fun, I love doing aerial circus and gardening.

Susan Egbert, Chief Financial Officer

Susan is pursuing her PhD at the University of Manitoba.  Originally from the US, Susan got her PharmD from University of Louisiana at Monroe in 2019.  Susan’s research for her PhD is focusing on lichen natural products in matching secondary metabolites to their biosynthetic gene clusters.  Susan is co-president of the UMWIC chapter and likes to help those in need.  When not in the lab, she likes to find hidden gems to visit, learning new skills, and hanging out with her cats.

Milanpreet Kuar, Chapter Liaison

Milanpreet Kaur is a Ph.D. candidate in the Van Humbeck Group at the University of Calgary. Originally from India, where she did her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Delhi. Milan’s research interest is focused on designing a new catalytic system for site-selective C-H functionalization in azaheterocycles.

In July 2020, Milan laid the foundation of the CWIC Chapter titled UCalgary Chemists for Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (CIDE) at the University of Calgary. When she has time, she enjoys photography, blogging and exploring different places and cultures. Her life goal is to stay purpose-driven and to leave a positive impact wherever she goes.

Did You Know?

Numbers that are inspiring the creation of CWIC groups:

  • In 2013, women STEM graduates accounted for 16% of all university graduates aged 25-35, whereas men STEM graduates accounted for 36%.
  • Not only are women receiving fewer STEM undergraduate degrees than men, but in chemistry, this gap widens even further (36% to 26%) for women pursuing graduate studies.
  • Research has unequivocally demonstrated that diversity drives innovation.