Laurie Swami challenges industry to hire more women in STEM and leadership roles
At a conference hosted by Women in Nuclear Canada, NWMO President and CEO Laurie Swami challenged industry to hire more women in STEM and leadership roles.
Laurie Swami is a STEMinist.
As President and CEO of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), she is one of only three women heading a nuclear organization in Canada. However, this is nothing new for Ms. Swami.
“Throughout my career – from my early days as a young engineer, right up until now – I have always been one of only a few women in a male-dominated field,” says Ms. Swami. “I have definitely seen a lot of progress in the industry over the years towards greater gender equality, but we can do better.”
Being a STEMinist is not simply about being female, working in a technical field. It is about supporting continued change and encouraging the next generation of women leaders.
This is Ms. Swami’s challenge to herself and her colleagues in the industry: be a mentor and leader, provide inspiration, and encourage young women to pursue education and careers in the STEM fields. The end result is a dynamic, better-prepared generation of STEM leaders, ready to take on the challenges of the nuclear sector.
Through her leadership of the NWMO and advocacy in the sector, Ms. Swami is showing the sector a path forward.
The NWMO supports a variety of youth STEM initiatives that give back to the communities we work with directly and help young people learn technical skills that might someday be applicable to Canada’s plan for used nuclear fuel and prepare them for the future.
“I have had the chance to meet some remarkable young women in the communities involved in our siting process,” said Ms. Swami. “These young STEMinists are all part of the new nuclear story in Canada, and the story of the NWMO that is evolving every day.”
This is STEMinism.
The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) is a not-for-profit organization tasked with the safe, long-term management of Canada’s used nuclear fuel inside a deep geological repository, in a manner that protects people and the environment for generations to come.
Founded in 2002, the NWMO has been guided for more than 20 years by a dedicated team of world-class scientists, engineers and Indigenous Knowledge Holders that are developing innovative and collaborative solutions for nuclear waste management. Canada’s plan will only proceed in an area with informed and willing hosts, where the municipality, First Nation and Métis communities, and others in the area are working together to implement it. The NWMO plans to select a site in 2024, and two areas remain in our site selection process: the Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation-Ignace area in northwestern Ontario and the Saugeen Ojibway Nation-South Bruce area in southern Ontario.