National Research Council of Canada celebrates women shaping science in the Government of Canada

News release

Symposium affirms support for leading women in STEM with signing of Dimensions charter

February 11, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Research Council of Canada

Today, a symposium brought together women from across the Government of Canada working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to recognize their contributions to science and technology. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) hosted the event to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and to launch the NRC’s Women in STEM Infinite Possibilities campaign. 

The Celebrating Government of Canada Women in STEM Symposium included a keynote address by Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor of Canada, who highlighted barriers women in STEM still face, and the need for the encouragement and advancement of women in STEM communities. The symposium also included remarks from representatives of other federal departments including: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat; Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs; Public Service Accessibility; Public Services and Procurement Canada; and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

The NRC’s President, Mr. Iain Stewart, affirmed the organization’s commitment to an inclusive workplace by signing the Dimensions charter – a pilot program designed to address systemic barriers faced by underrepresented or marginalized groups. Other government departments and agencies such as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Space Agency, and Environment and Climate Change Canada also signed the charter.

Following the event, a scientific poster session highlighted different research projects led by or involving women from across the Government of Canada.


"The Government of Canada is home to many brilliant women working in STEM, who bring a passion for science, unique talents, and diverse perspectives to work every day. These women are shaping science – finding solutions to some of the most complex challenges Canadians face."

— Dr. Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor to Canada

"When we create an environment where everyone feels supported and encouraged to contribute equally, we realize the full potential of the great minds in our workplace. This symposium touches on the pivotal role women researchers from across the Government of Canada play in scientific breakthroughs. Signing the Dimensions charter, and officially launching the National Research Council’s Women in STEM Infinite Possibilities campaign are two ways we are strengthening our commitment to an inclusive NRC."

— Mr. Iain Stewart, President, National Research Council of Canada

"Excellence in research and innovation demands diversity and inclusion at all levels. By endorsing the Dimensions Charter,  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is reaffirming its commitment to equality for female scientists in employment and in the field."

— Ms. Annette Gibbons, Associate Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

"Diversity is a driver for innovation and Canada’s space program benefits from the unique perspective of women. The Canadian Space Agency is proud to join other government departments and agencies in celebrating the International Day of Women and Girls in Science and in creating and fostering an environment that is inclusive and nourishes the interest and talent of women in STEM."

— Mr. Sylvain Laporte, President, Canadian Space Agency

"Never before has it been more important to have diversity in science. Increasing the number of women in STEM fields is a powerful way to fuel change and strengthen the research community. Environment and Climate Change Canada is proud to endorse the Dimensions charter, create more opportunities for women and underrepresented groups, and be part of the wave of change in science. We must continue to highlight the incredible work done by all in the research community."

— Dr. Martine Dubuc, Associate Deputy Minister, Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The National Research Council of Canada’s Women in STEM Infinite Possibilities campaign runs from February 11 to March 8, 2020, and showcases the dedication of NRC women researchers in science and innovation projects, and how they are at the heart of great scientific achievements and technology breakthroughs. For the latest information and updates on the NRC’s Women in STEM Infinite Possibilities campaign, visit the NRC’s website and follow the NRC’s Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram accounts.

  • A Government of Canada initiative, the Dimensions pilot program is designed to foster increased research excellence, innovation and creativity within the post-secondary sector across all disciplines, through greater equity, diversity and inclusion.

  • The program recognizes the need to identify and address systemic barriers, particularly those experienced by members of underrepresented or disadvantaged groups including, but not limited to, women, Indigenous People (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis), persons with disabilities, members of visible minority or racialized groups, and members of LGBTQ2+ communities.

  • By committing to the Dimensions charter’s principles and implementing actions to achieve its objective, CEGEPs, colleges, polytechnics and universities, and research organizations recognize that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the research community, the quality, relevance and impact of research, and opportunities.

Associated links


Media Relations
National Research Council of Canada

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