On October 25 2017, the Women’s Health Research Institute, together with the Vice President Research Office at Simon Fraser University, hosted a half-day women’s health research symposium at the beautiful SFU Diamond Alumni Centre. The event was entitled, “Examining diversity across disciplines, decades, and distances”.
Associate Professor in the SFU Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Angela Kaida, and her very capable team of students organized and led the event, which was attended by 120 SFU faculty and students, members from the SFU Board of Governors, the Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer for First Nations Health Authority, and members of the WHRI community. Dr. Joy Johnson, SFU’s Vice President of Research, gave an inspiring and practical talk to trainees for launching a successful research career, and included sage advice to trainees, such as “Be generous with others”.
Dr. Johnson also delivered a keynote address on the “History and Future of Gender, Sex, & Health Research in Canada” and provided a fascinating account of the history of the Institute of Gender and Health at CIHR, noting that the women’s health movement was instrumental in the development of the sex and gender discourse. She also emphasized the need for researchers to consider both sex and gender in their grant applications and in their work: “Every cell is sexed; every person is gendered”.
There were three panels providing a wide range of topics in women’s health, and the conversations provided both breadth and depth in topics related to equity and diversity, science and technology, and policy and law as they pertain to women’s health. The conversations were rich and the insights were deep. Most importantly, the symposium provided a valuable networking opportunity for the WHRI and our SFU colleagues.
We look forward to building on the foundation of this successful symposium for the future!