Diversity in Science

The Faculty of Science is working to counteract factors contributing to the under-representation of women and marginalized groups within the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and to foster more diverse, representative science. Increasing diversity in science will bring new perspectives, insights, and innovation, and will help the Faculty to continue to push the boundaries of knowledge in the classroom, laboratory, and field.

On this page, you'll find information about diversity and intersectionality, news features of women in science, and information about groups and research clusters on campus that focus on empowering women and fostering diversity in science.

A wide-angle shot of Urbah Syed, a science undergraduate student, standing in front of the poster for her bioethanol research project.

Urbah Syed: Insight into InSciTE

Read about Urbah Syed, a first-year undergraduate student in the InSciTE program with a diverse background and a promising future.

Why Is Diversity Important?

People are influenced by their gender, ethnicity, and backgrounds. These influences can shape their outlook of the world around them and their experiences within it, which often allow them to offer different perspectives and insights.

When approaching tasks and problems, diverse perspectives can lead to creative and innovative problem-solving, new approaches and processes, and an increase in collective intelligence.

These benefits are highly valued by the Faculty of Science, evidenced by our desire to offer platforms for diverse perspectives to be heard and our support of groups and initiatives designed to create spaces for underrepresented groups within the Faculty.

Latest News: Diverse Perspectives in Science

Check out some of the University of Alberta’s exciting news stories about women and diversity in science including stories from Contours, the Faculty of Science’s semi-annual magazine.

University mourns loss of passionate promoter of women in science and tech

Margaret-Ann Armour dedicated her life and career to diversity and the advancement of women in the sciences.

What Is Intersectionality?

Intersectionality is a concept and framework used to examine how different forms of discrimination often overlap or intersect with one another, creating unique, compounded forms of oppression that affect different individuals to varying degrees.

There are many kinds of discrimination. Some examples include:

  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Transphobia
  • Xenophobia
  • Ableism
  • Classism

Intersectionality is an important consideration in science because it is vital to consider how different variations of socioeconomic factors affect and shape identities and perspectives—not only in the classroom, but also in the laboratory and field.

Diversity Groups and Initiatives on Campus

There a several groups on campus that tailor to supporting diversity and gender inclusivity within the Faculty of Science and all the fields and departments contained within.

Some of the groups of note are Ada’s TeamUAlberta Working for Inclusivity in Chemistry (UAWIC), and Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science, and Technology (WISEST).

Features of Women in STEM

Dr. Margaret-Ann Armour during her Convocation address, holding aloft a large smoking beaker.

Celebration of Margaret-Ann Armour's Life

The University of Alberta mourns Margaret-Ann Armour, Dean of Diversity, who spent most of her life championing women in STEM. Visit her celebration page to learn more about her, leave gifts in her name, or share memories.

A wide shot of Sarah Styler (a UAlberta environmental chemistry professor) and one of her female students examining lab equipment.

Introducing: Sarah Styler, One of UAlberta's Environment Chemistry Professors

Read about Sarah Styler, a UAlberta environmental chemistry professor researching urban air pollutants.