March 8, 2022

-Western Standard


The Alberta government will spend $1 million on a new bursary to help women access science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sectors.

The Tuesday announcement at the NorQuest College coincided with International Women’s Day. Associate Minister of Status of Women Whitney Issik said the government will spend money to “help more women pursue their passions and succeed in the workforce.”

Bow Valley College and NorQuest College will receive $400,000 each, while Yellowhead Tribal College will receive $200,000.

“The bursaries will cover a portion of tuition and fees and help recipients pay for services they need to succeed in their studies, which could include school supplies, technology, laptops and accessories, child care, and transportation.”

The government said women are underrepresented in STEM.

“Women make up half of Alberta’s population but only represent about one-third of enrolments and graduates in STEM programs and only about one-quarter of employees in STEM fields. In the technology sector alone, women in Alberta account for only 25% of workers while making up 45% of the workforce overall.”

Minister of Advanced Education Demetrios Nicolaides said a Women’s Economic Recovery Committee identified policy gaps for women and provided the government with recommendations to better support women’s economic recovery, post COVID-19.

Issik released an earlier statement to commemorate the day:

“In Alberta, women have made great strides as leaders, business owners, academics, artists and so much more. From Violet King Henry, the first black female lawyer in Canada, to Rosella Bjornson, the first female commercial pilot in North America, to the Famous Five, who fought to be included as ‘persons’ in law, we owe a great deal of our province’s progress to women. It is thanks to the determination and spirit of Alberta women that our province is the best place to live, work and raise a family.

“Every little girl in Alberta today has the potential to do great things, which is why Alberta’s government is focused on ensuring women are an integral part of our economic and social recovery. By investing in programs such as the Women in STEM scholarship and the Women’s Economic Recovery Challenge Grant, more women will be able to pursue fulfilling and well-paying careers.