On Friday, February 11, 2022, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Women’s College Hospital will host a series of events to advocate for enhanced inclusion and diversity within science and medical research.
Toronto , ON – February 7, 2022 – As an organization founded by women, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has a history of championing women’s health and health equity. It is uniquely positioned to lead the conversation on the need for greater diversity in health sciences, as well as to encourage future generations of women and diverse persons into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
“We honor the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to shine a light on the brilliance of women and diverse persons in science and health research, as well as to change the narrative on measures of success and encourage future generations into STEM,” says Dr. Rulan Parekh, WCH’s Vice President of Academics. “Diversity among scientists leads to better research, more innovation and greater impact.”
The day kicks off with an edit-a-thon, starting at 11:00 a.m. EST. A group of volunteer editors from Women in Red, Wikipedia’s gender-gap bridging project, will update the pages of Wikipedia with entries for more than 200 women scientists from WCH and other University of Toronto-affiliated academic hospitals, including Baycrest, Holland Bloorview, Mount Sinai, North York General Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, Sunnybrook, Unity Health and University Health Network (UHN). Fewer than 20 percent of biographies on Wikipedia in English are of women, according to Women in Red, and the goal of this project, which hosts edit-a-thons all over the world, is to change that.
A Foundation of Equity: Virtual Panel Event
In partnership with Baycrest Health Sciences, WCH is also hosting “A Foundation of Equity,” a virtual panel event discussing equity metrics in science and health research. The focus of this virtual panel and speaker event is on how to implement the structural change required to recruit, retain, and promote diverse persons into health research.
“Our goal is to discuss what metrics we can use and demonstrate year-to-year growth and increase in diversity,” says Dr. Parekh.
The event, starting at 12:00 p.m. EST, will be hosted by Dr. Allison Sekuler, Vice President of Research at Baycrest Health Sciences, and moderated by Dr. Rulan Parekh. It includes remarks by Dr. Cara Tannenbaum, Scientific Director of the Institute of Gender and Health at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Dr. Tannenbaum will speak to “Revisioning ‘Scientific Excellence:’ Equitable Metrics of Success in Research.”
The panel discussion to follow includes Dr. Tannenbaum, Dr. Nicole Kaniki, Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) in Research and Innovation, at the University of Toronto; Dr. Lisa Robinson, Vice Dean, Strategy & Operations, at Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto; Dr. Brad Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research, at UHN; Dr. Sarah Overington, Director, Science Promotion and Operations, at Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); and Dr. Indra Narang, Associate Chair, Faculty Development and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, at The Hospital for Sick Children.
Virtual Museum Exhibit
In conjunction with WCH’s February 11 programming, The Miss Margaret Robins Archives of WCH is launching a virtual exhibit in partnership with Digital Museums Canada, “Women in Medical Research: A History of Innovation.” The exhibit displays the stories of women at WCH who made valuable contributions to Canadian medical research during the first half of the 20th century. It explores the challenges these women faced and celebrates their accomplishments in STEM. It also showcases the next generation of women scientists at WCH and encourages visitors to make their own impact in STEM.
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About Women’s College Hospital
For more than 100 years Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary advances in healthcare. Today, WCH is a world leader in the health of women and Canada’s leading, academic ambulatory hospital. A champion of health equity, WCH advocates for the health of all women from diverse cultures and backgrounds and ensures their needs are reflected in the care they receive. It focuses on delivering innovative solutions that address Canada’s most pressing issues related to population health, patient experience and system costs. The WCH Institute for Health System Solutions and Virtual Care (WIHV) is developing new, scalable models of care that deliver improved outcomes for patients and sustainable solutions for the health system as a whole.
For more information about how WCH is transforming patient care and leading health system solutions, visit www.womenscollegehospital.ca