by Carolyn Turgeon
On the anniversary of the massacre at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal, the Liberal party announced a new initiative to lend a hand to women in engineering programs.
Glen Murray, Toronto Centre MPP and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, attended Ryerson’s Dec. 6 Memorial Ceremony to announce the Virtual Diversity Mentorship Initiative.
Beginning in September 2012, the first phase of the program will allow women engineering students in their final year of study to connect with women engineers in Ontario’s public sector through social media pathways.
According to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, there were 800 female students who would have qualified for this type of initiative in the 2010-11 academic year.
Murray made the announcement at Tuesday’s campus memorial among other speakers such as president Sheldon Levy and VP administration and finance Julia Hanigsberg.
“I think today is a very good day to open up those pathways,” said Murray.
He plans to encourage companies and employees in the private sector to join in the program as well.
“There is cause to hope and hope is what we should do on a day of remembrance and action,” said Hanigsberg.
The memorial included a candle lighting, moment of silence and a performance by Ryerson dance students. There were also more remarks from representatives of the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) and the Ryerson’s Women Centre.
“We have a duty to ensure that the lives of women are protected,” said Levy.
Correction: This article previously stated that 800 women engineers in the public sector would become mentors for students. It has been corrected so that the 800 figure represents the number of full-time women engineering students in their final year of study in Ontario as of 2010/11. There are only approximately 141 women engineers in Ontario’s public sector.