On November 4, from 6-7 p.m. EST, four women will come together to discuss the myriad of ways 2020 has impacted their work in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This online panel discussion, Open Dialogue Live: Changing landscape, is the third in a series of annual events that celebrate women who are already working in STEM and support those who are considering entering the fields.

The panel will include WeUsThem founder Faten Alshazly (BSCS’99), civil engineer with Dillon Consulting Sarah Devereaux (BEng’93, MEng’99), biologist and the founding Dean of the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University Dr. Imogen R. Coe and neurologist and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Continuity with Dalhousie’s Faculty of Science Dr. Leslie Phillmore.  Dr. Alice Aiken, Dalhousie University’s vice-president research and innovation, will moderate.

An altered reality

As 2020 progresses, it’s increasingly clear that the challenges of 2020 are hitting some segments of the population much harder than others, despite the common refrain that “we’re all in this together.” In many ways, the pandemic has highlighted the inequities that already exist in our society, threatening to set groups who were already facing a systemic disadvantage even farther behind. Women in STEM are no exception.

Now, in a world where women are facing an array of difficulties, including a wage gap increase, additional caregiving responsibilities, as well as the pressures of unstable finances, working in male-dominated industries has become more challenging than ever. Despite these over-arching challenges, however, some women in STEM have found ways to benefits from the increase in remote work opportunities, flexible work arrangements, and a societal need for STEM-based solutions.

This year’s event will be markedly different from other years. While previous events have included plenty of opportunity for women to network with the STEM community, this year the event will be hosted in an online panel format that enables us to share the work of these remarkable women with people of all genders, regardless of location or mobility.

View the recording here to find out how our panelists are navigating these complicated times.

The panelists

Faten Alshazly (BSCS’99) is the founder and chief creative officer of WeUsThem, a full-service advertising agency with a client roster that includes Telus, Nestlé, the Eastern Caribbean Central Union, Government of Canada, Kaplan International, Cambridge University, Government of Jamaica and the Sinai Health System, to name a few. Alshazly is one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. She is also named Executive of the Year and most recently Entrepreneur of the Year in Canada and internationally.


Sarah Devereaux (BEng’93, MEng’99), M.Eng., P.Eng., FEC is a graduate of the Technical University of Nova Scotia (TUNS), following a two-year diploma program at St. Francis Xavier University. Devereaux started her career with Dillon Consulting Limited, where she provides engineering solutions for a variety of projects, ranging from municipal infrastructure to regional landfill sites. She has 26 years of experience as a civil engineer throughout Nova Scotia and nationwide.



Dr. Imogen R. Coe is a professor of chemistry and biology and former founding dean in the Faculty of Science at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is also an affiliate scientist at St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, where her research group studies drug transporters. In addition to being an academic scientist, Dr. Coe is one of Canada’s leading advocates for organizational change towards inclusive excellence in research, particularly in science and medicine.



Dr. Leslie Phillmore, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs Continuity) in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Science. Dr. Phillmore’s research in the Songbird Neurology Lab studies song learning, song perception, and production and the neural bases of these complex behaviours.



Dr. Alice Aiken (Moderator) is the Vice-President Research & Innovation at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. She is an active researcher focused on health systems transformation and evidence-informed policy-making. Dr. Aiken is currently the Vice-Chair of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and chairs the board of Research Nova Scotia. She is elected to the College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists of the Royal Society of Canada.

Want to know more about our panelists? Read their full biographies here.