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UOIT remembers L’Ecole Polytechnique victims

Dr. Tarlochan Sidhu, Dean, FEAS.
Dr. Tarlochan Sidhu, Dean, FEAS.

Faculty, staff and students at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) gathered together on December 6 to remember the 14 female engineering students who died on December 6, 1989, at L’École Polytechnique in Montréal, Québec.

“Today, we remember those targeted and killed for being women,” said Stephanie Irving, fourth-year Nuclear Engineering student and President of UOIT’s Women in Engineering student group. “We wear white ribbons on this day to commemorate the victims of this horrible tragedy.”

“The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is a sombre reminder not only of what happened 24 years ago, but of the violence that is a daily reality for girls and women around the world,” said Dr. Tarlochan Sidhu, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science (FEAS). “We as a society and as individuals share the responsibility to do everything in our power to eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence so we can build a just society for everyone.”

Dr. Jennifer McKellar, Assistant Professor, FEAS
Dr. Jennifer McKellar, Assistant Professor, FEAS.

Dr. Sidhu noted that the engineering profession must make an effort to promote equal opportunities for women and girls. “The percentage of women in engineering is small compared to other professions,” he said. “We should do everything we can to be inclusive and end whatever bias exists in the profession.”

"My experience as a woman in engineering has been overwhelmingly positive," said Dr. Jennifer McKellar, Assistant Professor, FEAS. "I have received encouragement from family, teachers, professors and employers. My friends, too, have had overall positive experiences. On December 6, while we remember the women at L'Ecole Polytechnique who lost their lives and think of those women in our society who are still experiencing violence, I think we also have reason to be proud of how far we have come and what we have achieved, and to be optimistic for the future."