Canadian Women in Chemistry (CWIC) Network

The Canadian Women in Chemistry (CWIC) Network is a novel organization aimed to promote inclusivity, equity, and diversity in the chemical sciences by connecting Women in Chemistry (WIC) groups across Canada. The CWIC Network was formed to facilitate communication and partnership between the Women in Chemistry groups in Canada. Currently there are three graduate student governed initiatives operating within the CWIC Network; the Women in Chemistry Initiative, University of Toronto (WICTO), the University of Alberta Women in Chemistry (UAlberta WIC), and the Women in Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan (WIC-USask). With the CWIC Network, we hope to establish more WIC groups at Canadian universities to further promote, engage, and advocate for women in STEM.

These groups have been successful in organizing activities and events that promote the engagement of women and minorities in STEM fields. Seminars, panel discussions, workshops, and mentorship programs are some of the events that these WIC groups have organized. More specifically, the LOGIC Retreat is an exceptional achievement by the WIC groups. Two consecutive LOGIC Retreats have been organized prior to the CSC conferences. These retreats focus on professional development and networking opportunities to women in the chemical sciences across Canada while conversing on issues about gender equity.

There are numerous benefits of having a Women in Chemistry (WIC) group at a university. WIC groups can foster ideas of women succeeding in the chemical sciences by provide examples of strong female role models for students through seminar series and for girls through outreach events. These groups can also expose women to a wide variety of careers and opportunities. Additionally, women are more willing to voice their concerns to university policy makers when there is an established community. Thus, WIC groups provide a support mechanism and create a sense of belonging for female students, which directly increases retention rates and engagement of women in STEM.

If you there any students that would like to learn more about the CWIC Network, or if they are interested in joining a group or creating a WIC chapter at your department, please inform these students that they can send an e-mail to info@cwicnetwork.com. For more details about the network and the chapters, students can also refer to the following links: