Empowering Black women in STEM

October 20, 2022

Empowering Black women in STEM

Black Canadian Women in Action (BCW in Action) and NorQuest College have partnered to open more opportunities for Black women to pursue fulfilling careers through post-secondary education. The partnership is focused on supporting Black women to bolster their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills for better career opportunities. 

Black Canadian Women in Action is a non-profit organization committed to making a difference in the lives of families in Black Canadian communities living in Western Canada. BCW in Action's vision is to promote the empowerment of black Canadian women, girls, and families in all sectors of society by building self-esteem, leadership skills, and confidence. 

The vision of BCW in Action aligns with NorQuest’s goals to support women in STEM through the college’s 1000 Women 4 STEM bursary program, designed to provide financial support up to $20,000 for women planning to enroll in NorQuest’s Energy Management, Machine Learning Analyst, or Environmental Technician diplomas. The 1000 Women 4 STEM bursary includes the cost of tuition and provides additional financial support each academic year. 

“NorQuest has a track record of inclusion and diversity and as an organization which focuses in supporting a minority group,” says Tessy Omina, Interim Program Manager, BCW in Action. “BCW realized that we have synergy focused on empowering minority women. NorQuest’s 1000 Women 4 STEM program shows that the college is at the forefront in supporting women and BCW is delighted to be part of this journey.” 

Specifically, the partnership will focus on: 

  • Increasing the number of Black women in NorQuest’s 1000 Women 4 STEM Bursary and STEM prep programs 

  • Deliver tailored learning pathways through NorQuest’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada and English as a Second Language programs 

  • Creating a business incubator program specific to supporting Black women 

When asked what excites her the most about the partnership, Omina remarks on the benefits to the community. 

“Our vision is to empower Black women in all sectors of Canadian society, including education. Thus, our partnership is exciting, since we know NorQuest is also focused on growing and supporting the community.” 

“We believe that supporting Black women in STEM will provide value to the Canadian economy,” says Carolyn Campbell, NorQuest College President and CEO. “The incredible alignment between NorQuest and BCW in Action offers us an opportunity to accomplish incredible things together.”