Industry leaders champion women in science at St. Margaret’s School

Industry leaders champion women in science at St. Margaret’s School

St. Margaret’s hosts industry leading women in STEM field, April 20 and 21

In a world that’s full of opportunity, don’t close the door on science, says an industry leader in Canada.

Donna Garbutt is the CEO of Maxxam, a Canadian market leader in analytical services and solutions to the energy, environmental, food and DNA industries. Shealso serves as a member of the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology and Innovation Council.

The accomplished Garbutt will spend time with young female students in Grades 5 to 10 from across the province at the Head and Hearts to Action (HH2A), a STEM (sciences, technology, engineering and math) focused leadership conference at St. Margaret’s School in Saanich, Thursday night and all-day Friday. The conference asks the students to look past the challenges of the future and envision unique solutions.

“I like to encourage young women, and young people in general, that the reality is we use technology in everything we do,” Garbutt said. “If you use technology and want to work in it, then you need a foundation to understand it.”

Garbutt joins “rocket scientist” Natalie Panek, an aspiring astronaut currently working in space robotics, and Rosemary Chapdelaine, VP of aerospace giant Lockheed Martin Canada as keynote speakers for the future-focused, and girls-focused leadership conference. The event is for young female students across the Island, featuring innovative presentations, hands-on opportunities for participants, and speakers who have flourished professionally in STEM fields: rocket science, analytics, and computer engineering.

Garbutt’s company, Maxxam, runs more than 30 labs across the country (and more in the U.S.) including one that focuses on environmental materials testing on Tennyson Place.

Workshops on Friday will explore a wide range of topics including augmented and virtual reality, art and applications of 3-D printing, women working in the wild, as well as personal development topics like encouraging physical literacy, escape rooms as a problem-solving tool, and developing leadership skills through drama.

“We want to provide girls with all the tools required to put themselves front-and-centre as leaders in all realms of society and contribute their passion and ethical ingenuity in this fast-developing world,” says Cathy Thornicroft, St. Margaret’s Head of School.

Statistics Canada’s 2011 numbers showed an imbalance between the number of men (78 per cent) and women working in STEM careers in Canada that experts believe has changed only slightly (new census numbers are on the way).

The key to is to stay well rounded by studying the sciences, too, Garbutt said. Otherwise, you’re closing doors on a fast growing sector of the economy.

“This wasn’t the way it was several years ago,” Garbutt said. “Often there was a push [for women] to go into law, or something different, and the sciences got ignored a little bit, and [yet] that’s a big piece of where the economy is going.

“Don’t discount [STEM] because it’s maybe not something your parents or your grandparents did.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Industry leaders champion women in science at St. Margaret’s School

Just Posted

file
Oak Bay resident bilked $3,300 in puppy scam

Three cases of fraud reported in two days

Sidney’s Star Cinema has temporarily closed as part of efforts to COVID-19. (Black Press Media File).
Sidney’s Star Cinema temporarily goes dark

Closure reflects provincial health order in effect until Dec. 7

Victoria police are asking for help locating Jordan Doddridge who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VicPD seek help locating man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Jordan Doddridge has an extensive criminal history including violent offences

(Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria dine and dash brings $230 fine

Group paid the bill, police locate suspect who violated provincial restrictions, mistreated staff

SD62 says parents of kids who have problems with bus stops and pick up times should reach out to their transportation department to find a solution. This comes after a Grade 10 student attending EMCS in Sooke found out he had to walk 45 minutes to get to the nearest bus pickup. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus route mishap leaves EMCS student walking 45 mins to pickup spot

Sooke School District willing to work with family to find solution

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

Most Read