Fleming hosts third annual FemSTEAM Summit on Oct. 13

Peterborough ON – (October 12, 2021) – The world celebrated International Day of the Girl this week, and Fleming is pleased to continue in that spirit of female empowerment by hosting the third annual FemSTEAM Summit on October 13. The focus of the event is to increase the participation of women and girls entering postsecondary studies to launch their careers in science, technology and trades, engineering, arts and math (STEAM).

FemSTEAM was started by three local businesswomen three years ago to encourage young girls in the region to consider STEAM fields and skill-oriented careers through mentorship, events, education and outreach activities. Fleming College and Trent University alternate hosting the annual summit, with Fleming organizing the first one on campus in 2019, followed by a virtual event last year by Trent. Due to the pandemic restrictions, this year’s event will be virtual.

“It is expected that 50% of jobs in society will be related to fields of STEM study,” states Rhonda Barnet, a FemSTEAM founder, and president and COO, AVIT Manufacturing. “Women in North America make up 48% of the workforce. Yet they make up less than 30% of STEAM graduates and only 23% of science and technology workers around the world. In response to these staggering statistics, FemSTEAM’s mission is to move the dial on girls in Canada entering post-secondary studies in STEAM.”

Teachers and students from local school boards are invited to attend the event. Fleming President Maureen Adamson and Cathy Bruce, Vice President of Research and Innovation at Trent University will provide the welcome remarks. The agenda for the morning includes keynote addresses by Nicole Verkindt, founder of OMX Offset Market Exchange, and Jamie McMillan, founder of Kickass Careers, virtual tours of Fleming College and Trent University, and a panel featuring current students and graduates from both institutions. Panelists include:

  • Krista Scaldwell, vice-president of communications and public affairs, Canada Life
  • Joanne Dereta, principal and managing director, CI Private Wealth
  • Sarah Aftergood, director of environmental permitting, Orsted Onshore North America
  • Mackenzie Barclay, Welding & Fabrication Technician student
  • Emma Tozer, Electrical Engineering Technician student
  • Rebecca Yaxley, Carpentry Apprentice

“Our goal at Fleming is to provide equal opportunities for women to pursue and thrive in STEAM careers,” said Pam Stoneham, Dean, School of Trades and Technology at Fleming. “The female enrolment in trades and technology programs at the College is currently around nine per cent. We believe initiatives like the FemSTEAM Symposium and Mentor Mondays will contribute to our goal of doubling that number by 2026.”

“At Trent University, we have many state-of-the-art and renowned facilities and over 100 academic programs–all accessible by our students so they can get hands-on experience in the fascinating fields of the sciences, technology, engineering, the arts, and math,” notes Cathy Bruce, vice president of research and innovation at Trent University. “As a mathematician and mathematics educator, I know first-hand how transformational it can be for students to study alongside renowned professors who are also leaders in their fields. Trent University takes those student experiences very seriously.”

More than 600 students are expected to watch the event from the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic School Board. Students from the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board will also participate. This year’s virtual event will reach more than 1,000 grade seven and eight students in the area.

The virtual FemSTEAM Summit on Wednesday, Oct. 13 begins at 9:30 a.m. For more information and to join the livestream, please visit www.femsteam.ca.

About Fleming College
Fleming College respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg lands and territory. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 80,000 alumni.

For more information, please contact:
Amar Shah
Communications Officer 
705.749.5530 x 1370

Sutherland Campus
599 Brealey Dr. Peterborough ON K9J 7B1
Ph: (705) 749-5530
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Ph: (705) 324-9144
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P.O. Box 839 Haliburton ON K0M 1S0
Ph: (705) 457-1680

Web: flemingcollege.ca
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