The Women in Physics (WiP) committee at McGill is a group of students and faculty members that aims to create an inclusive environment, support the women in our department and spread the message about the importance of diversity in the field. To achieve these goals, WiP organizes a variety of activities in the physics department and is involved in outreach projects that seek to affect the field at large.
The activities WiP organizes in the physics department to foster community and awareness include breakfasts and a yearly pub crawl. This year, we participated in the Cafe Collab Campus Dialogues project holding conversations on how to build an intersectional approach towards equity in physics. WiP also negotiates to improve existing policies in the department, for instance, guaranteeing paid parental leave for graduate/postdoctoral students. Finally, WiP holds a Diversity Colloquium, the latest Colloquium, held on February 24th 2017, can be found below.
Problematizing the “there’s no problem” discourse about gender in physics learning by Allison Gonsalves from Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University
WiP is also involved in outreach activities. Currently, we are co-organizing a workshop, in collaboration with Allison Gonsalves (Integrated Studies in Education) and Tynan Jarret (Employment Equity Advisor), aimed for CEGEP and high school students.
Our workshop aims to open a dialogue about issues related to race, class, gender and ability and their intersection with the under-representation of minority populations in STEM fields. We aim to expose students to issues pertaining to the social construction of gender, masculinity and femininity in STEM, intersectionality, implicit bias, micro-aggressions, work-life balance, stereotype threat and imposter syndrome. We also examine recent media products including cartoons and memes, and discuss origins and solutions to the problem of under representation. Students produce reaction memes of the ideas that have resonated with them at the end of the workshop. If you are interested in collaborating, participating or have contacts in science departments at high schools and CEGEPs that would be interesting in participating, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.