Laleh Behjat, Jennifer van Zelm, Stacia Thompson McCoy, Lorena Solis, Erika Lieu, Brian Murray, Anne Ndegwa (WISE Planet Program)

2023 Finalist: Community Intiatives

Finalist: Laleh Behjat, Professor, Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, Schulich School of Engineering, and NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Prairie Region) & WISE Planet Program Founder; Jennifer van Zelm, WISE Planet Program Manager;  Stacia Thompson McCoy, WISE Planet Program Developer;  Lorena Solis, WISE Planet EDI Expert and Researcher; Erika Lieu, WISE Planet EDI Expert & Researcher; Brian Murray, WISE Planet Liaison and Events Coordinator; Anne Ndegwa, WISE Planet Program Administrator

Initiative: Women in Science and Engineering for a Diverse and Sustainable Planet

The WISE Planet program at the University of Calgary is an innovative and unique initiative dedicated to promoting diversity, inclusivity, and sustainability in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Dr. Laleh Behjat, a Schulich School of Engineering professor in the Department of Electrical and Software Engineering, founded the program in February 2021. She is also the NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (Prairie Region). The WISE Planet program aims to empower individuals from historically underrepresented groups in STEM, enabling them to be catalysts for change and contribute to the transformation of organizational and societal culture toward greater inclusivity. The program’s unique approach combines personal leadership development, experiential learning, creative collaborations, supportive networks, and project work that advance equity and inclusivity in STEM. The unique one-year training program offers participants the opportunity to gain practical skills, tools, and access to a supportive network of peers, role models, and mentors, empowering them to become catalysts for positive change in their respective STEM fields. By bridging the gender and diversity gap in STEM, WISE Planet is dedicated to driving real-world change that benefits program participants, their STEM workplaces, and society as a whole.