Building STEM Capital: Advancing the representation of BIPOC women in STEM


About this event:

Date and time

Mon, September 13, 2021

10:30 AM – 7:00 PM EDT

Future Black Female (FBF) and IDEASs Lab Ontario Tech University (OTU) are collaborating on a knowledge synthesis of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) university programs. This conference is the culmination of months of uncovering the systemic factors that impact the success of BIPOC women enrolled in programs where they are underrepresented, under-resourced, and at risk for dropping out or transferring to non-STEM programs.

The goal of the conference is to foster learning, inspiration and wonder; and to provoke conversations that advance the successes and representation of BIPOC women in STEM.

Building STEM Capital is made of 3 panels and will feature several panelists sharing their knowledge on pertinent topics, exchanging ideas, asking and answering questions.

The topics for the three panel discussions and panelists are:

Empowerment through research: 10:30am - 12:00pm

Dr. Florence Glanfield, member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, a professor of mathematics education, and Vice-Provost Indigenous Programming & Research, at the University of Alberta. Dr Glanfield’s research interests explore the experiences that individuals (teachers and learners) as well as collectives of learners / communities have with mathematics and learning mathematics.


Ginette P.Bebeung, Executive-level business leader with a tenured international background, and a multi-lingual professional with a deep desire to help companies and individuals so that they can continue to grow to their fullest potential. At the heart of it all, she revels at the idea of transforming an organization into a powerhouse industry leader by focusing on developmental strategies and critical aspects of their business, including the delivery process, user experiences, and key decision-making practices.

Counterspace and Community: 3:00pm- 4:30pm


Bernie Petit is an Education Coordinator employed at the Canadian Light Source Inc. (CLSI), Canada’s only Synchrotron. Bernie nurtures exciting opportunities for First Nation, Inuit, and Metis students to connect Traditional Knowledge with Western Synchrotron Science. Her previous experience as a Director of Operations and Health within First Nations has contributed to building unique programs that connect science, research and STEM careers within FNMI communities. Bernie was raised to “Act Right” by her family of Waywayseecappo First Nation, MB, Opaskwayak Cree Nation, MB and Carry the Kettle First Nation, SK.

Amreen Rahman is a Mechanical Engineer with experience in mining, oil and gas operations and telecommunications. She came to Canada as an international student to study at McGill University, and rotated through different industries to gain engineering work experiences towards her Professional Engineer license. According to her, representation matters. We need to see it to be it. Now working as a Field Operations Manager, Amreen continues to champion the need for Inclusion for BIPOC women to create career advancement opportunities and leadership development.

Identity: 5:30pm-7:00pm

Dr. Jennylynd James is a Renaissance woman: a food scientist, soprano, writer, and fine artist in one package. She has a Ph.D. in Food Science from McGill University and worked for many years in the food industry in the US, Latin America, Europe, and Canada, writing a series of travel memoirs to recount her experiences. She was introduced to art and painting in 2009 while running her food business in Ireland. Jennylynd also sang as a soprano with well known Symphonic choirs.


Timilehin Abegunde is an Industrial Engineer at Protech Group, Montréal Canada. She had her undergraduate studies in chemical engineering from Afe Babalola University, Nigeria in 2015. She recently completed her Masters' degree In Industrial Engineering at Concordia University. She is also a mentee at the Black professionals in Tech network-A platform designed to support the advancement of Black professionals in the Technology Industry and is currently training to attain her long-term career goal which is to be a Technical project manager.


Dr. Roopali Chaudhary is a cellular & molecular biologist. She is the founder/CEO of the not-for-profit organization, Lotus STEMM, a networking and leadership platform for South Asian women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM). She is also a Senior Scientist - Cell Biology Specialist at Allarta Life Science Inc., a Research Associate with Dr. Juliet Daniel at McMaster University, a Content Editor at Sci-Illustrate Stories, and owns a small bakery specializing in science-themed cakes.