The theme of the 2019 conference was "Science in the Media". We highlighted what it means to be a minority in STEM and focused on the changing perspectives of science through all forms of media. Our keynote speaker, Professor Maja Jovanovic, delivered an inspirational speech about confidence, perfectionism, people-pleasing, imposter syndrome, and how to stop apologizing. A diverse panel of three passionate McMaster professors and a psychiatrist from the Women's Health Concerns Clinic provided their insights to invoke meaningful discussions about identifying as a female in STEM. Attendees were also invited to visit two of the three workshops that were held during the conference: Sexism in STEM, Social Media as a Tool in Your Scientific Career, and Fake News: How to Critically Evaluate Media Sources.
The 2018 conference began with a fascinating talk from our keynote speaker, Dr. Charu Kaushic, a professor of Pathology and Molecular Medicine at McMaster University with a research interest in women's reproductive health. We offered workshops on communication, sexism, and the influence of gender biases. Our second keynote speaker was Dr. Stacey Ritz, the assistant dean of the Honours BHSc program and an associate professor at McMaster. We also held two separate panels, in which a diverse selection of professionals participated: What's your story?, a panel focusing on the lived experience of the panelists throughout their respective careers, and Advance, Encourage, Challenge: a panel focusing on leadership and mentorship.
The International Women in Science Day conference was originally intended to be a small event focused on women in biochemistry. Due to high interest, IWISCI evolved into a day-long conference celebrating women across all disciplines of science, and working towards gender equality in STEM. The keynote speakers for the inaugural 2017 conference were Dr. Geraldine Voros, an associate professor at McMaster with expertise in women's studies, as well as Dr. Claudia Krebs, a professor in the M.D. program at the University of British Columbia and author of many innovative open-source anatomy modules. Two incredible panels of professors from different fields shared their experience with research, and talked about the future of women in science, especially in leadership roles.