1) As a “HeForShe”, how do you act "Bold for Change" within your company/department?
Our first employee at E-Innovation was a highly motivated female engineer. We didn’t hire her because of her gender, but because of her qualifications.
While at McGill University, issues of injustice and prejudice have been resolved or on the right path.
In both my roles, as a researcher and within my start-up, if I had to highlight my biggest contribution to fight these injustices, it is by always treating women as equal, never undervaluing or mistreating them – I simply don’t see a reason to act differently; I will never ignore any idea or experimental result, just because it came from a woman.
2) Do you consider yourself a feminist? What is your definition of Feminism?
Yes I consider myself a feminist, but I feel it is a sad that people still need to emphasize the fact that they are feminist/pro-feminism just like the fact the people need to identify themselves as a not racist. I was sure that in a country such as Canada, being a feminist will be the basic assumption.
As previously mentioned, feminism to me is treating the opposite sex as fully equal, and I don't mean as "only" giving them the opportunity to obtain any position, but also not discriminating them when it comes to salaries and conditions. It is sad that in some trades, women earn less for doing the exact same job.
3) Anything else you’d like to add?
I feel a lot of effort is being focused today on educating adult men, (of course you don’t need to educate adult women about the fact they need equality). For me, education should be focused on the kids: if you educate the young, then you won’t have to deal with these issues later. And in a generation or two, we can eliminate these issues completely.
By educating the young, I believe it starts with toys; no reason Lego is for boys and Barbie for girls. Toys should be gender free.
But it’s also in schools, where girls and boys should be encouraged to explore their natural talents. For example, when I did my B.Sc., out of 180 electrical engineering students, less than 10 were girls. That is less than 5%, which for me it is a blinking red light. Somewhere along the road, I assume a girl that exhibited interest in science was probably diverted to a less scientific area. The fact that today some trades are considered “male trades” while other “female trades” is a sign that we still didn’t achieve equality. The fact that “female trades” are also lower paying trades is simply an insult!
The right education on gender equality can solve these issues.
As a father I encountered another symptom that can unintentionally cause separation between boys and girls at a young age, the fact that there are girls' colors and boys' colors. Just like there shouldn’t be boys’ toys and girls’ toys, I believe kids should not deal with elements that encourage gender separation.
Basically, I'm a strong advocate in raising kids the right way, with education, both at home and at schools, for full equality (gender and race) - we can definitely eliminate all these discriminating issues that weaken our society, and societies in general (not mankind since it's man and woman kind).