De Beers Canada has launched the first four scholarships in a $639,000 four-year initiative to support female students entering STEM programs in Canadian universities.
The first four one-year scholarships will go to the University of Waterloo, which will receive a total of 16 through to 2020.
De Beers Canada chief executive officer Kim Truter said the launch of this scholarship program – part of the company’s three-year partnership with United Nations Women – is a significant step in enhancing female participation in the mining and technical industries.
“Females are under-represented in many technical industries, including mining, so we must do more to create opportunities at all stages of education and employment to remove barriers and be more inclusive,” said Truter.
Preferential consideration will be offered to Indigenous students from areas in the Northwest Territories and northern Ontario where De Beers Canada has mining operations.
One of Canada’s leading stem cell researchers Dr. Janet Rossant was one of five women internationally to receive the prestigious L’Oréal-UNESCO women in science award in March in Paris. A senior scientist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, Rossant is being recognized for her contribution to the understanding of how tissues and organs are formed in the developing embryo – research that will help to combat birth defects and other serious medical conditions. “I hope to use this opportunity to encourage more girls globally to take up careers in science, math, engineering and medicine. The future is theirs to grasp,” said Rossant.