Celebrating Women in STEM on International Women’s Day

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On International Women’s Day (Friday, March 8, 2024), let’s continue to build a world where women and girls can reach their full potential. To support this year’s IWD theme, Inspire Inclusion, the team at ApplyBoard created the Women in STEM Awards. Read on to learn more about the awards, and how you can #InspireInclusion yourself!

We’re proud to celebrate the tenacity of international students, both the ones starting their journeys and ones who have already graduated. Check out our post on three international student grads who are making their communities more inclusive places!


What are the Women in STEM Awards?

The Women in STEM Awards help to #InspireInclusion by granting a total of C$15,000 in scholarships. The scholarships will be awarded to six female-identifying international students starting a post-secondary study program this fall in Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States. 

Award winners will be selected by education advisors who work with ApplyBoard to connect students with study programs across the world. Scholarship winners will be contacted later this year, and we’re excited to see where they’ll go!

By pursuing studies in the sciences, technology, engineering, or mathematics (also known as STEM fields), these women will gain the skills and knowledge they need to make a positive impact on our world.

An illustration of a female student holding a book.

Why Do the Women in STEM Awards Matter?

Studying internationally is an investment—and one, given the ongoing gender pay gap, that many women will work longer to pay off. In 2024, the World Bank observed that women still only earn $0.77 for every $1 a man does. These awards are a small way to ease some of the financial pressure these international students may feel. It’s also a symbolic gesture that says: you are welcome in these fields, and we wish you every success.

Valuing diversity in our classrooms, workplaces, and broader communities means the questions we ask—and have to answer—change, because different people are comfortable speaking up. This connects us to a wider range of perspectives and approaches. 

And sometimes, having different people in STEM workplaces means life-changing inventions emerge! For example, Stephanie Kwolek’s dual interest in chemistry and fashion led to the invention of the bulletproof fabric Kevlar. Or, across the world, Asima Chatterjee’s study of medicinal plants contributed to her invention of antimalarial and anti-epileptic medications. These are just two of the inventions women in STEM fields have come up with. We can’t wait to be inspired by (and benefit from) what the next generation of learners will create.

Curious about studying STEM in Canada? These featured programs in architecture, computer science, and more all include hands-on work experience.

An illustration of six hands together in unity.

#InspireInclusion Every Day

When we inspire inclusion, we help to create a better world. But how do we get started? How do we keep going past International Women’s Day? You don’t need to throw a big event, though that’s always fun! Sometimes, it’s small actions which can add up to make an even larger difference.

Here are some ways you can inspire inclusion:

  • Celebrate your team’s or friends’ accomplishments!
  • Learn what microaggressions are, and avoid using them (for example, asking only women to do admin work, like taking minutes).
  • Names matter—learn how to spell them, learn how to say them, and work to get them right. The same is true of someone’s pronouns.
  • Become a mentor or coach. Your experience is valuable!
  • Use apps like Gender Decoder to make job descriptions more gender-neutral.
  • In a workplace, encourage managers to have 1-to-1 meetings with their direct reports, to build trust across functions.
  • When testing something new, ask for opinions from a wide range of people; consider factors like age, gender, race, and ability.
  • Support (or advocate for) flexible work policies, like flexible work scheduling, or remote/hybrid positions.

This International Women’s Day, and beyond, help us build a brighter future by acting inclusively. Even small steps move us all forward!

Ready to start your international study journey? Contact the team at ApplyBoard—we’re here to help.

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