On Feb. 9, 2021 diverse people from around the world came together to celebrate the third International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Global Women’s Breakfast (GWB). The purpose of these GWB events is to promote diversity in science by bringing people from various organizations together. As mentioned by IUPAC, the last two GWB have established that there is a need to build a network of both women and men who can work together to address the barriers and inequalities faced by women in science. Keeping this in mind, the theme of GWB 2021 was kept as “Empowering Diversity in Science”.
Various Chapters of Canadians Working for Inclusivity in Chemical Sciences, Engineering and Technology (CWIC) Network hosted events focusing on the above-mentioned theme. Below, we have compiled brief description of the GWB events organized across Canada by CWIC Chapters.
“As a new CWIC chapter at uOttawa, we hosted our very first GWB event this year. We were able to connect virtually with our community while enjoying our breakfast (COVID-safe bagel deliveries!). Students were able to connect and build a network of like-minded people interested in supporting women in STEM. Many new relationships were started on this day and we look forward to continuing these new connections throughout the year. We also hope to continue building our community through similar events in the near future!”
Cynthia Suarez and Monika Satkauskas
University of Toronto Chapter
“Through a virtual event at University of Toronto, professors and graduate students engaged in a productive conversation about meritocracy in academia, accessibility, inclusivity, and diversity in science. Attendees also discussed potential ways the department could reduce barriers faced by underrepresented groups.”
York University Chapter
“This year’s IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast was special for WIC at York U as it marked the one-year anniversary of our inaugural meeting. Although we were unable to gather in person, we celebrated with a coffee break and games over Zoom! We started our celebration with a short run down of the events that our group has put on and taken part in during the past year. When we came together in person back in February 2020, we played Periodic Table BINGO, which was a hit and turned out to be an easy thing to do over Zoom! BINGO cards were emailed out to participants ahead of our 2021 event, elements were drawn from the BINGO box and announced over Zoom! After getting about halfway through the periodic table, we switched to a short round of EDI- and coffee-themed trivia in breakout room teams. Coming back to the main Zoom room, we took up the questions to determine our trivia winners and made our way through the rest of the elements so that everyone could have a chance to yell “PERIODIC TABLE BINGO!” For our BINGO and Trivia winners, we had over twenty prizes to hand out from the Chemist Tree, d-Orbital Games and Redbubble! Overall a great time with lots of laughs!!”
Ontario Tech-Trent Chapter
“For our Global Women’s Breakfast, the virtual environment was welcomed as our WIC group is split among two campuses (Ontario Tech in Oshawa and Trent University in Peterborough). A big part of this event is sharing breakfast with our members and school communities, so we wanted to still be able to do that in a safe way during our event. Due to some gracious funding from CWIC and University of Toronto Chemistry department, we were able to send out food gift cards to our GWB participants so that they could order some breakfast for us to have during the event! During the event, we talked about the theme of the GWB 2021, “Empowering Diversity in Science”. We ended our event with a fun chemistry-themed trivia where Team Collagen took home the prize! It was a great way to engage with students and faculty from both Trent and Ontario Tech, strengthen our bond, and make new friends!”
UCalgary CIDE Chapter
“Professor Belinda Heyne, an academic advisor for UCalgary CIDE (Chemists for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity), does an amazing job each year at organizing IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast. This time around, due to COVID-19, the event needed to be virtual. UCalgary CIDE members, Milanpreet Kaur (Chairperson), Leonie O’Sullivan (Administrative Officer) and Juan Rueda gave Prof. Heyne a helping hand to organize the event. As an icebreaker, the event kicked off with a “scavenger hunt”, where attendees uploaded picture responses for statements such as “A scientist that inspires you” and “An element that suits your personality”. Following this, Professor Laleh Behjat (NSERC Chair – Women in Science and Engineering – Prairies) gave an inspirational talk about the work she does to support women working in science and engineering. To round out this event, we had a game of Pictionary where we had a volunteer draw EDI terms, such as “diversity” and “equity”, and attendees tried their best to guess what was being drawn. There was a true sense of togetherness throughout this event, and it felt very inclusive and welcoming to all. UCalgary CIDE is eagerly looking forward to organize GWB 2022.”
Queen’s University Chapter
“The QC-IDEAS group hosted a virtual GWB with food delivery. The Queen’s Chemistry department was invited to sign up for a breakfast treat delivery and join a group networking session in the afternoon. A doughnut or muffin paired with coffee or tea and juice was delivered to participants’ homes in the morning. The afternoon saw a virtual networking event, where a graduate student shared her story about facing adversity in science, followed by a group discussion on what changes we would like to see in STEM and specifically in the chemistry department.”
CWIC is proud to witness that our Chapters put together various thought-provoking initiatives for IUPAC GWB 2021. We look forward to bringing diverse communities together for the fourth edition of IUPAC GWB to be held on February 16th, 2022.