Browse "Women in STEM"

Displaying 1-20 of 42 results
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Maude Abbott

A disciple of William OSLER, she contributed to his text Modern Medicine (1908) the chapter on "Congenital Heart Disease," which he declared the best thing he had ever read on the subject.

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Marion Alice Orr

Marion Alice Orr (née Powell). Pioneer pilot. (b. Jun 25, 1916 [?], Toronto, ON; d. April 4, 1995, Peterborough, ON). Marion Orr's birth date has been given variously as 1916, 1918 and 1920. She obfuscated sometimes on documents related to flying for fear that she would be grounded by her age.

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Alice Wilson

Alice Evelyn Wilson, MBE, geologist, paleontologist (born 26 August 1881 in Cobourg, ON; died 15 April 1964 in Ottawa, ON). Educated at the Universities of Toronto and Chicago, Wilson spent her entire professional career, from 1909 to 1946, with the Geological Survey of Canada. She was Canada’s first female geologist and the recognized authority on the fossils and rock of the Ottawa-St. Lawrence Valley. While she repeatedly faced barriers as a woman in a profession dominated by men, Wilson was gradually recognized for her work through various honours, including becoming the first female Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1938.

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Amelia Yeomans

Amelia Yeomans (née LeSueur), physician, social and political reformer, temperance advocate, suffragist and public speaker (born 29 March 1842 in Québec City, Canada East; died 22 April 1913 in Calgary, AB).

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Helen Irene Battle

Helen Irene Battle, zoologist, educator (b at London, Ont 31 Aug 1903; d there 17 Jun 1994). A pioneering Canadian zoologist and much-loved teacher, she was emeritus professor of zoology at the University of Western Ontario from 1972.

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Beatrice Worsley

Beatrice Helen Worsley, computer scientist, professor (born 18 October 1921 in Queretaro, Mexico; died 8 May 1972 in Waterloo, Ontario). Worsley was a pioneering researcher in the emerging field of computer science. She conducted research and taught at the University of Toronto and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Worsley is considered to be the first female computer scientist in Canada and was honoured with a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Association of Computer Science in 2014.

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Clara Benson

Clara Cynthia Benson, professor of chemistry (born in 1875 in Port Hope, ON; died 24 March 1964 in Port Hope). In 1899, Benson became the first woman to graduate in chemistry from the University of Toronto. In 1903, she became one of the first two women awarded a PhD at U of T. After graduating with her doctorate, she worked at U of T’s Lillian Massey School of Domestic Science, becoming one of the university’s first female professors in 1920. A capable teacher who stimulated research and was a friend to her students, Benson taught at the school until her retirement in 1945. The Benson Building at U of T was named in recognition of her efforts to obtain better athletic facilities for women students.

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Roberta Bondar

Roberta Lynn Bondar, CC, OOnt, FRSCastronaut, neurologist, physician, educator, photographer (born 4 December 1945 in Sault Ste Marie, ON). Bondar became the first Canadian woman and second Canadian in space when she flew aboard the American space shuttle Discovery in 1992. A doctor specializing in the nervous system, she is a pioneer in space medicine research. Bondar is also an exhibited and published nature photographer. She established The Roberta Bondar Foundation to educate people about environmental protection through art, and she currently serves as one of the organization’s directors.

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Marilyn Trenholme Counsell

Marilyn Trenholme Counsell, physician, politician, lieutenant-governor of NEW BRUNSWICK (b at Baie Verte, NB). She grew up in the coastal village of Baie Verte, New Brunswick, and received her high school education at the Port Elgin Regional Memorial School where she graduated as valedictorian.

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Donna Strickland

Donna Theo Strickland, physicist (born 27 May 1959 in Guelph, ON). Donna Strickland is a pioneering physicist, known for her work on ultrafast lasers. She is currently a professor of physics at the University of Waterloo. She has authored more than 90 publications and has made seminal contributions to the field of laser technology. In 2018, Strickland was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for her work on the development of laser technology.

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Moira Dunbar

Isobel Moira Dunbar, OC, FRSC, public servant, ice research scientist (born 3 February 1918 in Edinburgh, Scotland; died 22 November 1999 in Ottawa, ON).

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Edith Monture

Charlotte Edith Anderson Monture (often known simply as Edith Monture), Mohawk First World War veteran, registered nurse, (born 10 April 1890 on Six Nations reserve near Brantford, ON; died 3 April 1996 in Ohsweken, ON). Edith was the first Indigenous woman to become a registered nurse in Canada and to gain the right to vote in a Canadian federal election. She was also the first Indigenous woman from Canada to serve in the United States military. Edith broke barriers for Indigenous women in the armed forces and with regards to federal voting rights. A street (Edith Monture Avenue) and park (Edith Monture Park) are named after her in Brantford, Ontario.

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Elizabeth Smith-Shortt

Elizabeth Smith-Shortt, née Smith, physician, feminist (b at Winona, Canada W 18 Jan 1859; d at Ottawa 14 Jan 1949). She belonged to the prosperous LOYALIST family that founded the E.D. Smith preserves company.

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Elsie MacGill

Elizabeth “Elsie” Muriel Gregory MacGill, OC, “Queen of the Hurricanes,” aeronautical engineer, feminist (born 27 March 1905 in Vancouver, BC; died 4 November 1980 in Cambridge, Massachusetts). The first female graduate of electrical engineering at the University of Toronto (1927), MacGill was also the first woman to earn her master’s degree in aeronautical engineering (1929) and become the first practising Canadian woman engineer. In 1938, she became chief aeronautical engineer of Canadian Car & Foundry (Can Car), where she headed the Canadian production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes during the Second World War. An active feminist, MacGill was national president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (CFBPWC) (1962–64) and a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1967–70).

Key Facts
born 27 March 1905, died 4 November 1980
First woman aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer
Key Canadian feminist
Oversaw production of fighter planes during WWII
“Queen of the Hurricanes”