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Dear Teachers, Counsellors and Parents,

We're inviting your grade 12 girls to apply to UBC Engineering before January 19th this year. We're inviting all the Emmas, Zhang Lis, Fatimas, Indiras, Sarahs, Jiayings, Rashidas, Olivias who perhaps haven't considered engineering as a career, because…

Did you know…

• Girls might get left behind in the gender pay gap again: the 15 highest paying bachelor degrees by salary potential all involve science or math, and 10 out of 15 are engineering degrees. If girls are underrepresented in engineering and tech fields, they’ll soon be left behind.

• Engineering is a human-centered, helping career. Work done by engineers can save more lives than individual doctors, through clean water, safer infrastructure, biomedical devices like pacemakers, and many other inventions and solutions. We need the other half of the world's population to contribute their ideas which are potentially lost to us without more women's input.

• Girls test as well as boys in math and science - it's only their (and society's) perception of their abilities that differs. And as many studies have proven, you get what you expect. So let's expect more. (Btw: girls’ GPAs at UBC Engineering are either the same or slightly higher, on average, in all year levels).

• We constantly hear from students who never considered engineering until someone encouraged them to pursue engineering. These examples are representative of many female students and alumnae:

o “It wasn’t until university, talking with my engineering friends that I even began to consider it.” -- Colleen Ogilvie, a UBC Engineering master's student who is now studying at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.

o “The only reason I considered engineering, and am a professor today, is because I was encouraged. It was my father who urged me to pursue engineering - I hadn’t even considered it. And it’s because of him that I have an amazing career as an engineering professor today.” -- Sheryl Staub French, Civil Engineering Professor

So, why are we inviting girls to apply? Sometimes, people have to be invited to even consider an opportunity. We are asking for your help to encourage high school girls who do well in science and math to consider engineering.

We aren't changing the admission criteria as the admissions process is gender blind, so no student is preferentially admitted based on gender. But we hope that by encouraging more girls to apply, we’ll move the needle. We want girls to know that engineering is a rewarding career that they should think about.

We'd love it if you shared this invitation with other teachers, parents and with your students. We've heard from many women engineers who only applied to engineering because a teacher or a parent encouraged them.

YOU can make that difference. Please think about who you could have a lasting impact on, and forward this.

For references or to explore engineering, go to
If you have feedback, we’d love to hear from you.

Our warmest regards,

Erin Fehr Wendy McHardy Sheryl Staub-French Recruitment Officer Director, Marketing & Communications Professor of Civil Engineering [email protected] [email protected] Dean’s Advisor on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion