International Day of the Girl

October 11, 2022

Today is the 10th anniversary of International Day of the Girl – a day to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world (United Nations, 2022).

Girls and young women, including transgender and gender-diverse youth, are unquestionably advancing innovation and making incredible contributions to our world through STEM. They have incredible solutions. They are bold. They are bright. And they are pushing boundaries and shattering stereotypes to use their ideas and perspectives to create a better and more diverse world.

For over three decades, Actua has witnessed the innovation, tenacity, creativity and sheer passion demonstrated by girls and young women in STEM. Their voices and participation are critical to our future and can change the world through their unique perspectives. Actua’s role is to equip them with the skills and confidence needed to do so.

International Day of the Girl: A Message from Actua

Audio File

Why does this day matter?

This day holds a lot of significance for Actua. It has long been understood that girls and young women in Canada and around the world face a multitude of barriers to accessing and participating in STEM education and careers. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these barriers. Currently in Canada:

  • 10X more women than men have fallen out of the labour force since 2020 (RBC, 2022)
  • 34% of Canadians with a STEM degree are women, and they make up only 23% of Canadians working in science and technology (Statistics Canada, 2019)
  • Among high school graduates, women are 29.8% less likely than men to enrol in a postsecondary STEM program shortly after graduation (Statistics Canada, 2021)
  • 89 cents average earned by full-time working women for every dollar a man makes (Statistics Canada, 2018)

So, while women have made significant strides in pursuing careers in STEM fields, they remain vastly underrepresented. And we know that without women, innovation in STEM is limited as we miss tapping into the potential of half the population.

How is Actua empowering girls in STEM?

Actua’s National Girls Program is delivered nationwide by Actua’s network of university and college-based members. The program creates safe and accessible environments for girls and young women to explore STEM education and was developed in direct response to a steady decline in female enrollment in local STEM programs.

Actua's all-girls and co-ed STEM camps now engage over 150,000 girls annually.

Through the National Girls Program and our advocacy work among local communities, industry and policymakers, Actua is working to change the culture in these fields and the public perception of who can lead in STEM.

Actua's National Girls Program

Actua’s National Girls Program inspires girls and young women to fulfill their unique and important role in STEM.

Learn More