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Celebrating Canadian Women in STEM

Blog | August 25, 2020 | Share on:

As STEM-based skills have proven to be essential for work and citizenship demands, it’s critical for industry, non-profits, government, and education sectors to showcase inspiring women in a variety of roles.

To celebrate Women’s Equality Day, we wanted to showcase a few women in the Canadian STEM industry that have proven their strength and success in their fields! Below are nine women from our Careers Profiles who have offered Canada so much through their work.

Kona Williams
Forensic Pathologist

Kona Williams - Forensic Pathologist

Kona is currently a Forensic Pathologist working at the Ontario Forensic Pathology Service in Toronto, Ontario. Kona was born in Ottawa, Ontario but has grown up in various cities across Canada. She received her Honours Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University, her Medical Degree from the University of Ottawa, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in both Anatomical and Forensic Pathology from University of Ottawa and University of Toronto. After years of school, Kona eventually fell into her field of Forensic Pathology.

She often performs post-mortem examinations, teaches at the university, testifies as an expert witness in courts of law, works on research projects, and also works as the First Nations Liaison at her company. She often uses analytical skills in autopsies which is important as it often determines the verdict in court cases. The information Kona derives from her patients is very important to the living.

Fun fact: Kona also likes karate, running, and cooking!

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Dr. Nguyen-Vi Mohamed
Postdoctoral fellow in Neuropathologies

Dr. Nguyen-Vi Mohamed - Postdoctoral fellow in Neuropathologies

Dr. Nguyen-Vi is currently working at McGill University as a Postdoctoral fellow researching Neuropathologies. She was born and raised in Paris, France and now lives in Montreal, Quebec! In order to pursue her dreams of becoming a researcher, she completed her Masters and PhDs at universities in France and Quebec.

Nguyen-Vi’s primary concentration is on understanding Parkinson’s disease and finding new drugs to treat it. She does so by developing a model similar to the human brain, known as “organoid” or “minibrains” and producing neurons to replicate a real brain. She is one of many researchers who works hard to find cures and information about diseases.

Fun fact: Nguyen-Vi also runs her own bakeries in Montreal!

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Dr. Gwen Healey Akearok
Executive and Scientific Director Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre

Dr. Gwen Healey Akearok - Executive and Scientific Director Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre

Dr. Gwen is the Executive and Scientific Director for the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where she was also born. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Physics, Master’s of Science in Community Health and Epidemiology, and PhD in Public Health at universities across Canada.

She is a public health researcher and studies diseases in human populations, hoping to answer the specific health questions of communities across Nunavut. She helps to design and implement studies which attain information needed to improve health across Nunvaut’s communities.

Fun fact: Gwen also enjoys swimming and volunteering with kids!

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Anissa Agahchen
Co-founder and CEO

Anissa Agahchen - Co-founder and CEO

Anissa is the cofounder and CEO of Anissa was born in Iran, grew up in Chad and moved to Canada in her early teens. She completed her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science at University of Victoria. She currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where her company is located.

Anissa continues to build her tech company which creates software for businesses and community groups. Her role is to promote expansion and growth for the company. The software built by her company bridges computer science and public engagement for a greater social good! Anissa’s company offers the tools for people to sustain their community and networks.

Fun fact: Anissa enjoys spending time with her kids, reading, and Zumba!

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Jessica Vandenberghe
Director of Enforcement APEGA

Jessica Vandenberghe Director of Enforcement APEGA

Jessica currently works at APEGA, a professional regulator, as the Director of Enforcement. She was born in Edmonton and grew up in Northern Alberta. She moved back to Edmonton to attend the University of Alberta where she completed a Bachelors of Science in Chemical Engineering and a Masters of Science in Chemical and Mining Engineering. Following this, she went on to work in oil sand research where she researched how to reduce the environmental impact of oil sands. Following that career, she began working at APEGA in Edmonton.

Jessica works for a company that ensures that engineers and geoscientists are ethically competent. Jessica’s role as the Director of Enforcement is to ensure rules and requirements are met so that engineers and geoscientists keep the public safe in the work that they do. She holds them accountable if they do not practice their work skillfully and ethically in order to keep people safe!

Fun fact: Jessica also likes skiing, curling, and reading!

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Jasraj Chahal
Control System Engineer

Jasraj Chahal - Control System Engineer

Jasraj is a Control System Engineer for Pratt & Whitney Canada. She was born, raised, and currently works in Montreal, Quebec. She completed her Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aeronautics at McGill University. Following her degree, she began working in the aerospace industry and eventually made her way to Pratt & Whitney Canada.

As a Control Systems Engineer, Jasraj often works on control system design, testing, data analysis, and even with customers to troubleshoot issues they may have with a control system. She often uses her skills in math, turbomachinery, and coding. While troubleshooting, she uses her STEM skills to make decisions on how to properly correct an issue in an efficient manner. Jasraj’s work to ensure that a control system works well is crucial, as the control system is the brain of an aircraft engine. Without her work, the safety of passengers and crew on aircrafts would be uncertain.

Fun fact: Jasraj loves riding bikes, going swimming, and playing badminton!

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Timea Filer
Urban Forestry Field Technician

Timea Filer - Urban Forestry Field Technician (ON)

Timea was born, raised, and currently lives in Guelph, Ontario. She received her Honours Bachelor of Science in Forestry at Lakehead University which she enjoyed because of its hands-on approach to learning. After graduating, Timea worked in automotive engineering, civil engineering, and forestry. She eventually found her way working at the City of Guelph as an Urban Forestry Field Technician.

As a technician, Timea spends her days talking to residents, reviewing construction plans, and coordinating projects. She also helps to develop guidelines for tree planting and protection for the City of Guelph. Her work is largely influenced by plant biology, social science, engineering, and environmental science. As an urban forester, she ensures that the City’s forest is healthy and managed sustainably which is important for the City’s overall environment and health of the people in the City.

Fun fact: Timea also loves spending time at the beach and gardening!

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Leah Clark
Provincial Cattle Specialist

Leah Clark - Provincial Cattle Specialist

Leah was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She completed her undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences and Rangeland Resources at the University of Saskatchewan. She later completed her graduate degree at the Western Beef Development Center. She soon found her love for teaching and educating adults in the agriculture industry. She now works in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan as a Provincial Cattle Specialist.

Leah works with industry stakeholders and producers. Her job provides safe and affordable food to the population. She often works on government goals and strategic priorities related to building a strong livestock sector.

Fun fact: Leah loves going for walks and volunteering!

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Zineb Ahnou Ghoulia
Manager for National Business Solutions

Zineb Ahnou Ghoulia - Manager for National Business Solutions

Zineb was born in Algiers, Algeria. She lived and studied there until she was 28, then moved to Canada. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from HEC Alger in Algeria. She pursued two internships and fell in love with research at the second company she worked for, where she ended up working as an Assistant Product Manager for a while. She currently works as a Manager for National Business Solutions at Uni-Select Canada in Boucherville, Quebec.

Zineb often works on market analyses to evaluate territories for sales, She also analyzes statistics and economic trends to help develop various communication strategies to target customers and promote the product. She uses a lot of math in her job when she has to use qualitative and quantitative studies to meet customer expectations. Her work is important as it develops strategies for success.

Fun fact: Zineb loves spending time with her family, eating, and shopping!

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