New vision, new structure, new name

On June 24 2019, the Institute held a strategic planning with partner organisations which had worked and / or supported the Institute’s program and projects.

Some of the key outcomes are:

  • The main goal of the Institute was re-defined as: Catalyzing research and action to advance the education and success of women in STEM fields around the world, by collaborating with like-minded organizations;
  • After evaluating the past, it was decided to focus on academic perspective and involve collaborators to participate in our activities and vice versa;
  • The Canadian archives of women in STEM would become one of our main projects of the organisation;
  • The Institute needed additional Board members who would add expertise in areas that support our objectives;
  • Our name INWES-ERI was changed to The Canadian Institute for Women in Engineering and Science (CIWES); l’Institut Canadien pour les femmes en ingénierie et science (ICFIS).

Why it was necessary to change the organisation name

Our former name, INWES Education and Research Institute (INWES-ERI) had been chosen in 2008 when its founders thought that the organisation would raise money for the international NGO INWES which could not get charitable status due to their type of activities.

However, it was discovered later on that rules in Canada are restrictive for charitable organisations. They cannot not easily provide funding to non-charity organizations. Moreover, their directors have to stay at arm’s length from other organisations, such as INWES. The change in name became necessary to lower expectation and confusion between the two organisations.