Girls and women will be encouraged to pursue careers rooted in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with the help of a $250,000 grant from the Government of British Columbia to the Achieve Anything Foundation.
Females are under-represented in STEM-based areas of study and in careers, such as aviation, aerospace, marine and defence. The Langley-based foundation is dedicated to establishing year-round programs that spark interest for girls and women in those disciplines.
In 2015-16, women represented 53% of B.C.’s post-secondary students, but only 37% of STEM-program credentials were issued to women.
The foundation’s signature event is the annual The Sky’s No Limit – Girls Fly Too!, in which families are invited to learn about aviation, aerospace, marine and defence through hands-on displays and activities, including free flights for female first-time fliers. Currently, of 17,278 aircraft engineers only 2.3% of them are women.
The Achieve Anything Foundation also co-ordinates Operation: This is You!, which partners with Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services, the Vancouver Police Department, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Coast Guard and other agencies to offer hands-on experience events.
Premier John Horgan set the tone for gender equality in B.C. by appointing 11 women to his 22-member cabinet — the Province’s first gender-equal cabinet.
- Just 5.5% of B.C. women have post-secondary education in STEM fields, compared to 13.9% of men.
- Only 10% of B.C. women with post-secondary education hold STEM-related degrees or certifications, compared to 25% for men.
- B.C. has more than one million women working — the most women working in B.C.’s history, and nearly half of the current provincial labour force.
- With the addition of over 900,000 job openings expected in the province by 2027, women will play an increasingly important role in keeping B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing.
- Women comprised 38% of all self-employed people in B.C. in 2017, ranking B.C third among all provinces, and above the national average of 37%.
- The B.C. government’s child-care fee reductions of up to $350 per month will help parents, especially women, build families while pursuing their careers.
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