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A National Conference for the Advancement of Women in Engineering, Science & Technology
July 6-8, 2000, St. John's, Newfoundland


244 Delegates attended from all across Canada, the United States and Sweden

Winner of the 2000 Admiral Award for Tourism from the City of St. John's

Karen Muggeridge, Town Crier, Carolyn Emerson,
Mayor Andy Wells and Christopher Williams with Admiral Award

Click for Kathy Sendall's Keynote Address

Click for Gloria Montano's Keynote Address

Click for Workshop Report
Best Practices for the Retention of Women Scientists and Engineers in the Oil and Gas Sector

Rapport en francais

List of Presentations with pdf Links for most are below

Hosted by:
Women in Science and Engineering (WISE)
Newfoundland & Labrador

8th in the series of Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering,
Science & Technology (CCWEST)
( National Conferences

Thanks to everyone who attended (244 strong) and contributed.

Great appreciation and thanks go to the wonderful, generous and hard-working team who were the heart and soul of New Frontiers, New Traditions:


Carolyn J. Emerson, Conference Chair
F. Mary Williams, Program Chair
Jane Kieley, Vice-Chair, Finance, WISE VP
Karen Muggeridge, WISE Pres.


Joanna Barnard, Program, Logistics
Jennifer Meaney, Social Chair
Kim Keating, Communications Chair
Lisa Anthony, Treasurer
James Cooper, Logistics Coordinator
Joanne Myrick-Harris, Planning Office
Christopher Williams, Social, Logistics
Susen Johnson, Communications
Sadie Sellars, Logistics, Program
Caroline Koenig, Volunteer Coordinator
Karema Addetia, Program
Karen Sheppard, Social

Thanks also to our volunteers and those who assisted in fund-raising.

We also acknowledge the invaluable assistance of Margaret-Ann Armour of the University of Alberta, CCWEST President and liaison; Joy Brown of Chevron Canada Resources, coordinator of the CCWEST Listserve and webpage; Lisa McKay who designed our logo, conference materials and advertisements; and Mona Rossiter of Petro-Canada for her assistance with our communications plan.



Majid Ahmadi, Graham Julien, William Miller, Developing Leadership Skills for Women in Engineering and Science

Inger J. Tveten Anderson, College Caretakers: Female Engineering Students as Volunteer Recruiters

Margaret-Ann Armour, Helen M Madill, Anna- Lisa Ciccocioppo, Leonard L Stewin, T.Craig Montgomerie, George W. Fitzsimmons, It's All About Retention

Nan Armour, Cathy Carmody, Donna Clark, Ann Manicom, Elinor Nicoll, The Hypatia Project

Suzelle Barrington, Lise Lauzon, Forging the Future for Québec Women Engineers

M. Elizabeth Cannon, Jean E. Wallace, Valerie A.Haines, Academic Choices of Engineering Undergraduates

Vania Chan, Katie Stafford, Maria Klawe and Grace Chen, Gender Differences in Vancouver Secondary Students' Interests Related to Information Technology Careers

Gail, Crombie, Tracy Abarbanel, Kim Mombourquette, All-Female Computer Science Classes: Positive Learning Experiences for Female High School Students

Allison Dancey, Breaking Down the Barriers Program: Women in Resource Development Committee

Colleen M. Ennett, Reengineering the Ottawa-Carleton WISE Chapter

Monique Frize, Ruby Heap, The Professional Education of Canadian Women Engineers in Ontario and Quebec, 1920-1999: Enrolment Patterns

Kim A. Gilbride, Nadine Gudz, Outreach Programs for Young Women in High School

Megan Howell-Jones, Michael Morgan, Go West - Promoting Engineering Awareness - Starting a High School Outreach Program

Maria Klawe, Ian Cavers, Fred Popowich and Grace Chen, ARC: A Computer Science Post-Baccalaureate Diploma Program that Appeals to Women

Judy L. Lupart, Elizabeth Cannon, Gender Differences in Junior High School Students Towards Future Plans and Career Choices

Judy L. Lupart, Charlene Barva, Elizabeth Cannon, What Happens When Girls, Gifted in Science Grow Up?

Terri L. MacDonald, Junior High Female Role Model Intervention Improves Science Persistence and Attitudes in Girls Over Time

Lynnette D. Madsen, University Science and Engineering: Promotions, Programs and Progress in Sweden, Canada and the USA

Karen Martinson, Deborah Wolfe, Diversity in the Engineering Profession

Hiromi Matsui, Where are the Women? A Benchmark Study of Women in High-Technology Fields in Science and Technology in British Columbia

Moyra McDill, Shirley Mills, Yvonne Henderson, Tracking the Gender Barrier: A 1990's Follow-Up Study

Irene, Meglis, Struggling with Confidence: Reflections of a Reformed Overachiever

Angelina Mehta, Nicole Slade, Iron Ore Company Graduate Development Program

Michele Oliver, Jane McGinn, The Imperial Oil STEM Outreach Program for Children at the University of New Brunswick: Development of Outcome Measures

Jennifer A. Polack-Wahl, Advancing Women's Careers by Improving Communication Skills at the Undergraduate Level

Gillian Ranson, The Best Of Both Worlds?  Work Life, Family Life And The Retention Of Women In Engineering

Karen Sheppard, An Evaluation Of The Women In Science And Engineering Summer Employment Program

Susan Sherk, Women in Canada's Oil and Gas Sector

Vera Straka, Salary gap in the Next Millenium

Mary Williams, Access and Merit: the Debate on Incentive Programs


Karen Brown, Ruth Matte, Women in Federal Science & Technology

Heather Bruce-Veitch, Voices of Experience - Women in Management

Anne Condon, Maria Klawe, Academic Career Strategies for Women in Science and Engineering

Monique Frize, Jennifer Flanagan, Outreach Programs Successful With Girls and Young Women

Nancy Hill, CCWEST Member Showcase

Jane Kieley, Voices of Experience - Women in Communications and Information Technology

Chips Klein, Who's Missing ? 18 tips: A Practical Guide to Including Everybody in Science, Technology

Cathy Marr, Voices of Experience -High Tech Entrepreneurs

Katherine Schultz, Judith Huebner, Kelley Main, Nancy Porhownik,Spatial Performance and Women's Persistence and Success in Science

Susan Sherk, Best Practices for Retention in the Oil & Gas Industry

SWIFT, Engaging Female High School Students in Computer Programming via Virtual Family

Annie Wood, The Inventive Women Website Project


Charlie Callanan, Women in the Popular Media

Darlene Whalen, Promoting Yourself - How to Get The Job


The New Frontiers, New Traditions National Conference on Women in Science and Engineering ran from July 6 to 8, at the Battery Hotel in St. John's. The conference met or exceeded all of its objectives. Participation: two hundred and forty-four women and men attended from all across Canada, and from USA and Sweden. Scope: communications and information technology, oil and gas, academic, environment, and science promotion sectors were represented. Financial: thanks to support from sponsors, the conference offered a full program, with challenging speakers, at a cost which made it accessible to young professionals and students. Evaluation: feedback from conference participants on both program and venue was strongly positive.

One of the high profile events at the conference was the panel on women in the oil and gas industry. Participants covered a range of geographic and professional experience, and included representatives of a number of the large companies active in the Atlantic oil and gas industry. The first positive result from the panel was the support of the companies, and their willingness to participate. This demonstrated an active interest by these organizations to increase the representation and improve the experience for women in the industry, a positive message to conference participants and to other companies not represented. Secondly, the panel produced a collection of best practices for promoting women in the industry published in a final report available on this site. The policies and practices in the report provide a baseline standard for all companies in this and similar industries. A third significant result was the awareness and discussion generated by the panel. The undocumented discussions indicate that many of the challenges that persist are rooted in the culture of the workplace. To instill respect and diversity in the culture, codified policies must be supported by continuous, visible efforts by the leadership in the organization.

Another conference event with broad participation was the Panel on Academic Careers. The motivation for this panel was the recognition that the low representation by women on faculty in some university departments negatively influences the number of women entering the pipeline in science and engineering. The low ratio of women is both a symptom and a source of attitudes in teaching and research that discourage women, and hence is a key influence point. The panel, modelled after very successful panels organized by the Computer Research Association in the United States, intervenes in the cause-effect cycle by encouraging young women to consider academic careers, and providing group mentoring. Twelve senior academic women generously provided advice and frankly discussed issues such as how to apply for a grant and how to balance work and family demands. The proceedings of this panel will be posted soon on this website.

The Oil and Gas and the Academic panels were among 12 positively received panels and workshops in which information was delivered in an informal, interactive, manner. The panels and workshops were popular features of the conference, especially among the younger participants.

Thirty-three papers presenting research results and case studies formed the core of the new information presented at the conference. Collectively, the papers represent our current understanding of the complex gender dynamics of people in science and engineering work and study environments. Some of the papers presented were the first Canadian benchmark for issues that have been explored in other countries. Other papers provided entirely new perspectives. All of the conference papers are available on this site and will be permanently archived by CCWEST on their website.

The long-term results of the conference are positive. Understanding about promotion and retention of women in science and engineering, particularly in the featured sectors, consolidated through the presentations and discussions, for both professionals and members of community organizations. Many women received encouragement and practical tips in their careers. Organizations, particularly large companies, which do have encouragement of women on their agendas, were visible through their participation and their sponsorship. These organizations earned the respect of conference participants, and sent a strong message to other organizations in their sectors with their proactive approach.

For the Chair, in particular, the conference results are important. Our approach to date was confirmed by the conference discussions and feedback. The conference outcomes will guide the work of the Chair for the next two years.


Keynote speakers Gloria Montano, Kathy Sendall and Kathy Penney

NSERC/Industry Chairs
Claire Deschenes, Mary Williams, Elizabeth Cannon,Monique Frize, Maria Klawe

Students attended from across the country

Mary Williams and Gloria Montano share a relaxed moment

Happy sailors at sunset

Kathy Sendall presents the Canadian Engineering
Memorial Foundation Scholarship
to Danielle Rumbolt

Margaret-Ann Armour, Past President of CCWEST,
salutes the 8th CCWEST National Conference and
looks forward to ICWES 12

Conference Vice-Chair Jane Kieley announces new scholarships from Nortel

Inger Grufman of the Swedish Association of
Graduate Engineers congratulates the conference organizers and
presents Chair Carolyn Emerson with the gift of a glass apple

Ben Davis and Megan Howell Jones describe the
New Traditions for their sectors


JULY 27-31, 2002 in OTTAWA, ONTARIO

Though smooth sailing is predicted, it's best to be prepared.
Carolyn passes on the conference hat (sou'wester)
to ICWES Program Chair, Claire Deschenes

As Claire looks on, Carolyn presents the
traditional WISE ('gear') hat to sister WISE
Chapter Ottawa-Carleton, President Colleen Ennett


Colleagues met in St. John's, Newfoundland, July 6-8, 2000, for a national conference on women's success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The program included

  • The latest in research on women in STEM
  • Career support and networking strategies
  • Leadership skills development
  • Best practices for enhancing diversity
  • Examples of the excitement and challenge of STEM careers
Work sectors featured were oil and gas, information technology, environment, and academia, among others.


Women scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technologists

  • To learn new strategies for professional and career success
  • To gain leadership skills for career advancement
  • To develop networks with other dynamic women
Representatives from Science Promotion Organizations
  • To showcase their programs to a national audience
  • To share ideas and experiences
  • To gain access to new contacts and resources
Representatives from Industry, Government, Post-Secondar Institutes, Professional Associations, Sponsors
  • To demonstrate leadership in encouraging diversity
  • To learn best practices from other institutions
  • To interact with potential employees
  • To hear about exciting events in science and engineering
  • To learn about career choices and meet role models
  • To gain skills for transition from university to careers
  • To learn about new research and strategies for more effective teaching of STEM
  • To obtain current career-related resources
  • To learn about women's contributions in science and technology

The Conference Program was designed to be as rich and practical as possible. Keynote speakers shared their experiences and expertise in plenary sessions.  Presented papers shared research results and initiatives to reach, recruit and retain women in STEM fields. Practical information on career development was provided in seminars, and workshops gave more extensive opportunities to hear the 'voices' of experience on specific topics and engage in strategy development. There was also time to network, share perspectives and have fun!

Keynote speakers included:

Gloria Montano
Director, Institute for Women and Technology

Gloria Montano is employed as a senior program manager in NonStop Software and Solutions Organization (NSSO) at the Tandem Business Unit of the Compaq Computer Corporation. Compaq develops and markets hardware, software, solutions, and services including industry-leading enterprise computer solutions, fault-tolerant business-critical solutions, networking and communication products, commercial desktop and portable products and consumer PCs.  Ms. Montano's primary responsibilities included management of data, report and tool service programs for NSSO, deployment of software process improvements throughout NSSO, and management of the release of Tandem Business Unit software products.

Ms. Montano's experience also includes management of integrated circuit design teams, management of software teams developing advanced integrated circuit design tools, application specific integrated circuit design, customer support, technical sales support, and marketing. Prior to joining Compaq, she was at Mentor Graphics, Teradyne EDA, Silicon Compilers Systems, and IBM.

Ms. Montano is a national Past President of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE,, a non-profit educational and service organization founded in 1950 and dedicated to increasing the number of women in engineering and ensuring their continued success as engineers and leaders. The SWE mission is to stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity. As an active volunteer with SWE, Ms. Montano served in other positions on the Board of Directors as President, President Elect, Vice President of Special Services, and Region A Director.

Ms. Montano is Director of the Virtual Development Center (VDC, of the Institute for Women and Technology (IWT, IWT is a research and advanced development, 501c3 charitable organization.  The IWT mission is to increase the impact of women on all aspects of technology, increase the positive impact of technology on the lives of the world's women, and help communities, industry, education and government benefit from these increases. The VDC is a geographically distributed, integrated and highly collaborative center for education, research and development. It provides a structure in which students and professionals realize the ideas generated through innovative events in prototypes and products. They bring women's ideas to concrete reality.

Ms. Montano is a member of the Industry Advisory Committee for the Model Institutions for Excellence (MIE) at the University of Texas at El Paso. MIE ( is an initiative sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to increase the number of historically underrepresented minorities successfully completing Masters and Ph.D. programs in Science, Engineering and Mathematics. The UTEP MIE program is in the fifth year of a five-year program and is under consideration for a three-year extension.

Ms. Montano holds a B.S.E.E. from the University of Texas at El Paso. She received the 1990 Chairman's Achievement Award from Mentor Graphics, the 1989 Distinguished New Engineer Award from the Society of Women Engineers and the 1986 Outstanding Service Award from Silicon Compilers Incorporated.

Ms. Montano co-chaired the 1989 Society of Women Engineers National Convention & Student Conference attended by over 1300 people. The convention featured 123 workshops & panel discussions, 110 industry exhibits/job fairs, and 44 advertisers. Ms. Montano was also a key organizer of Women Fore Women, a consortium of women doctors, lawyers, and engineers who sponsored a charity golf tournament in 1995. The tournament raised over $15,000 to benefit W.A.T.C.H., a second-step program for battered women.

In addition to SWE activities, Gloria is a founding member of Outdoor Adventures for Women. Outdoor Adventures for Women is a social group for women based in the Santa Clara Valley of California. Gloria enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, sea kayaking, and especially golfing.


Kathleen E. Sendall, P.Eng.

As Vice-President, Engineering and Technology with Petro-Canada, Kathy Sendall is responsible for the engineering function within Petro-Canada's business units (including reservoir and production engineering; facilities, drilling, and completions; and the identification and introduction of new technologies). She also supervises the supply chain functions and manages the company's interests in Syncrude and other oil sands projects.

Ms. Sendall was appointed to her current position in 1996 after almost twenty years with Petro-Canada, a time during which she held positions such as Engineering Supervisor of Offshore and International Joint Ventures, Wholesale Marketing Manager for Petro-Canada Products, and Director of Business Development in the Natural Gas Liquids Business Unit.

An alumna of Queen's (B.Sc., Honours Mechanical Engineering, 1977) and Western (Business School Executive Program, 1990), Ms. Sendall is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineers, a member of the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists of Alberta, and is active in the Engineering Associates Program, University of Calgary and the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. She chairs the Advisory Council to the NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Prairie Region), and is a director of Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta, C-Fer Inc., and Syncrude Canada. Ms. Sendall was honourary chair for the United Way in 1997, and in 1998 was the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for the category "Business, Labour, the Professions and Entrepreneurs".


Kathy Penney, M.Sc.

Regional Vice-President of Jacques Whitford Limited in St. John's, Kathy Penney is responsible for all engineering, environmental sciences, and materials testing service groups in the province. The company she represents employs professional engineers and hydrologists, environmental scientists, technicians, information technologists and geomatics specialists, archaeologists, and highly skilled support personnel across the region.

Born and raised in Newfoundland, Ms. Penney is a graduate of the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific (International Baccalaureate Program), University of Toronto/Trinity College (Honours Bachelor of Science), and the University of British Columbia (Masters of Science). Her career with Jacques Whitford began soon after her return to Newfoundland as an environmental scientist and project manager focusing on resource development projects in the mining and offshore oil and gas sectors. She then went on to become a leading member for a variety of industry and government projects, including the NODECO Environ-mental Management Team overseeing the Hibernia Development Project Platform Construction Site, and as Environmental Assessment Coordinator for Environment Canada in St. John's.

In 1995, Ms. Penney returned to Jacques Whitford and began a series of increasingly responsible positions, such as Manager of Environmental Sciences and Vice-President for Newfoundland and Labrador. She has since worked as the lead project manager in several major industrial projects, including the environmental assessment for the proposed mine and mill at Voisey's Bay, the Newfoundland Transshipment Terminal in Placentia Bay, and the planned further development of hydro power generation and transmission on the Churchill River. Ms. Penney is recognized throughout the province's environmental engineering community for her business acumen and personal leadership skills.



WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Newfoundland & Labrador, winner of the 1994 Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, is a well established volunteer organization with a large community network and record of successful projects.  In addition to producing education and outreach programs, WISE has hosted four productive provincial conferences.

The NSERC/Petro-Canada Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for the Atlantic Region at Memorial University of Newfoundland works to increase the participation of women in science and engineering at all levels. In addition to undertaking research and project activities, the Chair provides links with other organizations throughout the Atlantic region and nationally.


CCWEST (Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Science and Technology) is an umbrella group of twenty-two organizations representing 15,000 individual members in these fields across Canada.


The logo for New Frontiers, New Traditions captures the venue of the conference with its stylized image of the Fort Amherst lighthouse viewable across the Narrows from the Battery Hotel. The ocean's edge with dawn breaking further reflects the conference's name and our themes of discovery, action, new horizons, vision and optimism. The blue lines and golden sun on a clean white background also echo the colours of the provincial flag.  The logo was designed by Lisa McKay, a commercial artist who lives in St. John's.



Petro Canada
Canada's Gas Station




Human Resources & Employment






Iron Ore Company of Canada










Tourism, Culture & Recreation







City of St. John's




Iceberg Industries

Sponsorship Contributions

Platinum $10,000 and above
Gold $5,000
Silver $2,500
Bronze $1,000
Donor Amounts up to $1,000