McMaster Women in Tech to profile changemakers across campus

Assistant registrar Nevine Chawra, McMaster's first changemaker in the McMaster Women in Tech series.

Imagine a future in which students do not just use technology but live with technology embedded in every interaction. This digital moment is a campus experience that would seamlessly integrate digital technologies into daily activities, such as purchasing textbooks, finding study space, or even monitoring academic progress.

This seamless transition between digital and analog is what Assistant Registrar, Nevine Chawra, envisions for McMaster’s future.

By day, Chawra manages the systems team in the Office of the Registrar.  The team manages the processes designed to implement McMaster’s undergraduate academic regulations across the entire undergraduate student population.  These processes track the student’s academic progress towards degree completion.  By night, Chawra is completing a Master of Art degree in Higher Education at the University of Toronto, as well as serving on several committees to further champion innovation on campus.

Because of her substantial interests, activities and advocacy related to McMaster’s technology transformation, Chawra has been selected as the first changemaker in the McMaster Women in Tech series. Developed by the Office of the AVP & CTO in partnership with the Equity and Inclusion Office (EIO), this new series seeks to highlight and recognize women tech changemakers, within the McMaster community.

“One of my personal and professional goals for this calendar year is to focus on what I can do to support and advance our campus’ approach to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, through mentorship and by creating opportunities for a diverse range of voices to be heard in our digital transformation efforts,” says McMaster AVP & CTO Gayleen Gray.

“Nevine is an outstanding role model and collaborator who makes room for others and tirelessly champions new ideas. I am so proud to recognize her as the first WomeninTech changemaker in this series.”

From left to right: McMaster AVP & CTO Gayleen Gray, first McMaster Women in Tech changemaker Nevine Chawra, and AVP Equity and Inclusion Arig al Shaibah.

A McMaster IT committee has been formed to review the pool of nominations and to ensure a range of perspectives are included in the selection process. This group will be recommending one changemaker per month to be featured on the AVP & CTO website. Aligning with other McMaster women in STEM initiatives, this series is designed to amplify diversity of thought, as well as diversity of life and career experiences.

“This is a great example of a unit-led initiative that advances McMaster’s broader EDI goals and priorities,” says Arig al Shaibah, AVP Equity and Inclusion. “I am sure it will inspire and invite more EDI-focused efforts across the institution!”

Recent studies by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) and the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship indicate that there are barriers for women entering the tech workforce. According to the ICTC report, women represent only one quarter of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) even though they represent half of the overall Canadian workforce.

In light of these trends, Chawra says that encouraging women to enter IT and tech and providing the ability to see how other women are succeeding in this sector will strengthen the industry overall.

“I think women need to understand that their perspective is needed and is critical for holistic, inclusive and meaningful solutions to be designed,” says Chawra. “Women have a lot to offer, and the field needs their contribution.”

Have a Marauder in mind for the McMaster Women in Tech series? Nominate a colleague, student, faculty member, or other campus community member here.

Learn more about Chawra’s contributions and advice for others in her full profile, now available on the Office of the AVP & CTO website.