Inspiring Future Women in Science
Perimeter Institute hosts an annual inspirational half day conference, typically held in March. The goal is to bring together like-minded young women with a strong interest in science and expose them to the rewards, challenges, and possibilities of a career in science. High school students of all genders are welcome to register to attend this event.
Registration is now FULL but the conference is available via live webcast at 9:00am ET on Wednesday, March 6. A recording of the webcast will be available here and on our YouTube channel within 48 hours of the conference.
School Groups: Teachers may make group bookings for up to 8 students by contacting [email protected].
Individuals: Individual registrants should complete a registration form and return to [email protected]
Individual and Group Registrations will be accepted in the order they are received until the event is full. Your registration status will be confirmed within 48 hours of submission. Once registration is full a waiting list will be created.
The event will also be webcast live at 9:00am ET on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.
Date: Wednesday, March 6, 2024
Location: Perimeter Institute, 31 Caroline St N, Waterloo
|8:30 - 8:50am
|Registration and Arrival
Arrival before 8:30am is not
Late arrivals may be seated in the
simulcast room rather than the
|First Speaker and Q&A
Ashley Borzellino, Miss Canada
2023 and Development
|Second Speaker and Q&A
|Poh Tan, STEM Education
The discussion will focus on why the
panelists chose STEM careers; what
sparked their passions; how they
knew it was the right decision; etc.
|Third Speaker and Q&A
Shohini Ghose, Physics Professor
An opportunity for small group
discussions with women in various
Dr. Shohini Ghose - Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University
As a girl, Shohini Ghose wanted to be an explorer like Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to go to space. She hasn’t made it to space yet, but she did become an explorer of the quantum world as a physics Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada. She examines how quantum physics can transform computing and communication and be used for novel tasks such as teleportation. Shohini aims to create an inclusive scientific community in Canada as the Director of the Laurier Centre for Women in Science (WinS) and as the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering in Ontario.
She holds a TED Senior Fellowship and her online talks have received over 5 million views. In 2017, she was selected to the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Shohini's new book, Her Space, Her Time, celebrates women from around the world who transformed physics and astronomy. She still dreams of going to space.
Dr. Poh Tan - Founder and CEO, STEMedge Inc.
Dr. Poh Tan is a dedicated and accomplished individual whose journey is defined by her unwavering passion for education, equity, and diversity. Currently completing her second PhD in Education at SFU, her academic endeavors are rooted in a deep commitment to instilling positive societal change. Among her remarkable accomplishments, Poh proudly stands as the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Mantella Corporation BIPOC Entrepreneur Award. Additionally, she gained recognition as a nominee for the 2023 YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Education, Training, and Development category.
As a champion for women and people of color in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Poh has tirelessly worked to foster inclusivity and dispel stereotypes within these fields through her research and volunteering within the community, in particular Science World, Bloedel Conservatory, and the Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association. In addition, Poh is past-president elect of the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion for women and girls in STEM and founder of STEMedge Inc, an organization that specializes in designing effective STEM educational outreach strategies for a diverse range of organizations. She engages in both local and global initiatives, including her involvement in the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.
Her aspiration is to inspire other women, especially those who share her background, to pursue careers in STEM and education without the pressure to conform to stereotypes. Poh's journey embodies the powerful notion that embracing one's uniqueness is an empowerment and a source of strength.
Ashley Borzellino - Miss Canada 2023 and Development Inspector/Operator, City of Brantford
Miss Canada has been established since 1946 and is Canada’s longest running pageant, it has a focus on personality and advocacy. As Miss Canada I aim to represent Women in STEM and Women on Site by attending public speaking events, attending high schools and sharing my story. I am a Mohawk College graduate with an Advanced Diploma in Civil Engineering Technology. I have been working as a Construction/Development Inspector for five years. During these five years, I have faced many challenges, but never allowed these experiences to discourage me. I believe having a strong voice and an authentic message can encourage other women to join this path.
I decided to compete for the title of Miss Canada because it is a national and reputable title, which comes with commitment and responsibility. I knew this title would help me reach a larger audience to speak about my passion and advocacy. Women in STEM/Construction is an important topic which is rarely discussed within pageantry. It was time for a change of scenery and to bring light to this mission.
I have volunteered my entire life, through extracurriculars and with the Royal Canadian Air Cadets for six consecutive years. I graduated as a Level Five Flight Sergeant and held the positions of Drum Major and Flight Commander. During my reign as Miss Canada 2023, I have been devoting my time to Women in STEM. I am a Women on Site group member and have also been invited to several public speaking events. I have been a special speaker for various engineering/construction related events.
As Miss Canada, I hope to showcase that there is no particular physical appearance to success. I believe that there is a stereotype that women in STEM are typically more “masculine”. As a pageant title holder, I aim to break this stigma, I believe that success has no face. I would also like to demonstrate that there is no "right" path, everyone’s journey is unique and every experience is valuable.
To all women in technology fields, if you are interested in pursuing this path, do not be afraid to start, it is never too late. For those who are already in the industry, make it your goal to share your stories with others and encourage more women to join our team.
Nanette Zhu – Senior Manager - Actuarial and Insurance Solutions, Deloitte LLP
Nanette Zhu is a Senior Manager at Deloitte’s Actuarial and Insurance Solutions practice. With over fifteen years of diverse experience, she has garnered extensive expertise in various facets of insurance, including model risk management, insurance program review, actuarial liability valuation, financial reporting, asset modeling, and insurance product pricing. Currently, Nanette is leading multiple projects, including managing a substantial multi-year model risk management engagement with one of the biggest insurance companies in North America, supervising a team to provide model development services for multiple lines of business in a large US insurance company, providing actuarial audit supports on multiple Canadian insurance companies, and assessing the adequacy of the risk management and insurance program for a government entity. As an inspiring leader, Nanette is heavily involved in talent management, coaching and fostering an inclusive culture. Beyond her managerial role, she contributes to the firm's research efforts in innovative solutions, such as climate risk modeling, artificial intelligence (AI), and generative artificial intelligence (Gen AI).
When Nanette left China and arrived in Canada in 2000, she could not even speak a complete sentence in English! After 6 years of hard work at schools, she obtained a Master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Waterloo and a Bachelor’s degree in Actuarial Science from Western University. Subsequently, with her continuing study and professional development after she entered the workforce, she became a Fellow of Society of Actuaries (FSA), Fellow of Canadian Institute of Actuaries (FCIA), and a Chartered Enterprise Risk Analyst (CERA). She truly believes that with determination and commitment, anything is possible to anyone, and the sky is the limit!
Outside of her professional pursuits, Nanette enjoys spending time with friends, watching movies and TV series, and being involved with the growth of her two young children who are actively involved in extracurricular activities such as gymnastics (daughter), piano (daughter), drawing (daughter), muay thai (son), soccer (son), and skating (both). Witnessing the potential of the younger generation energizes her and reinforces her belief in the limitless possibilities for anyone willing to strive for their goals!
Kristina Koslovsky - Hospital Pharmacist, Cambridge Memorial Hospital
Kristina is a pharmacist at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. She has worked in the Intensive Care, Medicine, and Telemetry units of the hospital, much of this time being during the COVID pandemic. Her day-to-day work involves attending patient rounds with the entire health care team, making drug therapy recommendations, monitoring medication side effects and relevant laboratory values, and counselling patients. She is involved in various committees, including the Medication & Therapeutics committee, which is responsible for developing and approving standardized policies, order forms, and drug monographs for use within the hospital.
Prior to becoming a pharmacist, Kristina completed her Bachelor of Science Honours degree at Queen’s University (major in Biology) in 2013. She then completed her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at the University of Waterloo in 2018. Following graduation, she worked in the Medical Affairs department at Sanofi Pasteur, which is the vaccine division of the pharmaceutical company. She spent almost a year there, before transitioning to hospital practice.
In her spare time, Kristina enjoys hiking, spin and Crossfit, spending time with family and friends, and is currently trying to up her home DIY game in the new home her husband and her recently purchased. She also enjoys mentoring, and looks forward to hopefully inspiring or guiding young women as they start to navigate their education and future careers.
Alicia Richens - Sustainable Impact Strategist, Alicia M Richens Consulting
Alicia (she/they) is a Sustainable Impact Strategist who fiercely champions climate justice and hopeful futures. With extensive experience in facilitation, sustainability, impact measurement and standards development, she helps forward-thinking organizations to assess, amplify and embed their desired social and environmental impact, using the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a guiding framework.
They also serve as Director of Strategy and Governance for Leading Change Canada, an organization focused on activating youth sustainability leadership for the transition to a low carbon economy within a generation.
A proud dual citizen since birth of Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, Alicia holds a Master in Environmental Studies, Planning Concentration, and a BA in Economics and Social Science (Honours), both from York University.
Her latest creative project is the Climateverse, a new media project reporting the news from parallel realities where humanity is taking bold action on climate change and social justice.
Haley Mayer - PhD Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, University of Toronto
Haley is a PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Toronto (U of T), splitting her time in the Posluns Center for Image-Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI) at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Diller Microrobotics Lab at U of T. Her research involves designing and building magnetically actuated micro-robotics for minimally invasive surgical procedures.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Guelph specializing in biomechanics and robotics. She later started her master’s in Mechanical Engineering at U of T in 2020 which she enjoyed so much she transferred into the doctorate program specializing in surgical robotics. Her passion for robotics grew as she became a student fellow in the Healthcare Robotics NSERC CREATE Graduate Training Program. Mastering the interdisciplinary skill set that intersects robotics, medicine, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Through the Robotics Leadership Program at U of T Haley has become an ambassador for public understanding of robotics, bridging the gap between technical and non-technical communities, advocating for EDI in robotics and STEM education, through active engagement within local and regional communities.
Students will have to opportunity for small group discussions with a number of speed mentors from a variety of STEM fields, including: physics, ecology, physiotherapy, public health & nursing, geomorphology, architecture, chemistry, engineering, health & safety, and more.
We would like to thank our presenting sponsor: