Montreal, Wednesday February 6, 2019 - There will be electricity in the air for the 20th edition of the event “Girls and science, an electrifying duo! ". Three days of activities (Quebec, Montreal, Sherbrooke) to promote science and technology to young girls in secondary 2 and 3 in order to alleviate the shortage of female labor that persists in these industries.
Several distinguished personalities will add to the brilliance of this day, including Ms. Johanne Duhaime, Vice-President, Information and Communications Technologies at Hydro-Québec and Honorary President of this 20th edition. "I want to see more girls choose science as their field of study and work, because they bring a different and complementary vision and approach!" ", comments Ms. Duhaime.
Meteorologist Ève Christian will also take part in the festivities, as honorary godmother, as will young biochemist and science journalist Marianne Desautels-Marissal, returning as spokesperson for a second year. “20 years ago, I was 14, like hundreds of young girls who will participate in these days. When I look at the past decades, I see the birth of a host of sciences and technologies that are already shaping our lives and the new professions that accompany them. To be interested in science is to go further than to prepare for a rapidly changing future: it is to be this change, to think about this future, to code it. "
An event driving change
Many factors influence the choice of a field of study and participation in an event like this can have a major impact on the professional future of young people. A past master in the art of observing the sky, forecaster Ève Christian reminds us of the importance of encouraging our young people to broaden their horizons. “Personally, I first dreamed of a career in astronomy, only to realize that I preferred to be in the motion of weather systems, a few miles above sea level below. We must remain open-minded and not close doors, she emphasizes. It is not because it is science or technology that it is necessarily difficult. These are areas that are much more accessible than we think and young women will be able to demonstrate this in real life by attending events such as this. They discover a host of fun, multi-faceted professions, as well as their many applications. The important thing is that the flame ignites! A day like this shows us the way to the path to take, keeping in mind that each route is unique! ".
Short-circuit the shortage of female workers in science and technology
Despite the event's two decades of existence, its mission remains just as current and relevant today, due to the lack of female labor that has persisted in these industries for too long.
Last October, a survey carried out by Groupe Multi Réso among participants from previous editions demonstrated the positive influence of the event. Among the responses obtained, 82.4 % of the respondents considered that the event was personally useful to them. In addition, 68.7 % of them indicated that their interest in science in general had increased as a result of this experience, while 64.7 % of participants saw their interest in taking science courses increase as a result of this experience. to this day. Finally, 77.4 % of respondents indicated that the event increased their knowledge in the targeted fields, while a proportion of 78.1 % discovered new occupations in these fields.
“Although we are enthusiastic about the survey results, we find it regrettable to come to the same conclusion after 20 years. We are determined to deploy all the power necessary to bypass the shortage of female workers in these industries ”, indicates Ms. Nancy Rancourt, engineer and president of the organizing committee.
With a program full of workshops and spectacular demonstrations, the 20th anniversary of the event will be celebrated with great fanfare. Participants will have the chance to carry out mergers on board fiber optic trucks and attend a special presentation hosted by science popularizers Martin Carli (in Montreal) and Yannick Bergeron (in Quebec).
This year, the event will be held at the following dates and locations:
- February 23, 2019: Quebec, Laval University
- March 16, 2019: Montreal, École de technologie supérieure The Montreal edition of the event is presented in collaboration with the École de technologie supérieure and Polytechnique Montreal
- March 16, 2019: Sherbrooke, University of Sherbrooke
Facebook Montreal: @LesFillesEtLesSciencesUnDuoElectrisantMontreal
Facebook Quebec: @lesfillesetlessciencesquebec
Facebook Sherbrooke: @TechnoscienceEstrie
For an overview of the workshops offered to participants during the day “Girls and science, an electrifying duo! », Watch this video made in 2018
About the event “Girls and science, an electrifying duo! "
Created by a handful of women volunteers, scientists, engineers, professionals and teachers, with the support of Polytechnique Montréal, the École de technologie supérieure and several ICT companies, the concept of the event "Girls and science, an electrifying duo! ”First germinated, in 1998, in the mind of Nathalie Beaudry. Then responsible for a university hiring program for the network operations department at Bell, it was given the mandate to recruit a proportion of 50 % women, a goal that it struggled to achieve. due to the low rate of female labor. Noting that her colleagues were faced with the same problems, Ms. Beaudry immediately proposed the idea of getting together in order to set up an activity intended for teenage girls, to make them aware of the exact nature of the scientific and technological professions and the programs of studies leading to it. In addition to allowing participants to reflect on the stereotypes that influence their choice of studies, this event offers them a unique opportunity to discover rewarding training and careers, to participate in exciting workshops and to exchange with inspiring career women. . The event has several components; including group activities, demonstrations and workshops, as well as two sections designed specifically for school workers and parents.