THE STORY BEHIND THE WOMEN
The Women Inventors Project was originated, developed and is directed by two Waterloo women, Lisa Avedon, an adult educator at Conestoga College, and Rachelle (Shelly) Beauchamp a technology assessment analyst with the Canadian Industrial Innovation Centre.
It is a non-profit, one-year program to identify, encourage and assist innovative women of all ages. Launched on November 17 the project is funded through the Innovations Program of Employment and Immigration Canada, with additional financial assistance from the Ontario Ministry of Industry, Trade and Technology and the Ontario Women's Directorate. Donations from other sources include Carbotek Computing of Guelph, Ontario, The Mutual Life Assurance Company and the Canadian Industrial Innovation Centre. Although based in Waterloo, Ontario, the project is open to women across Canada.
"When I began working with inventors four years ago," says Shelly Beauchamp, "I was shocked by the low proportion of women inventors in Canada." According to figures supplied by the Canadian Patent Office, only about one per cent of Canadian patents issued to Canadians contains a woman's name. In the United States the comparable figure is eight per cent. Furthermore, existing programs aimed at encouraging innovation have not been reaching women; until recently women made up only five per cent of the clientele in the Innovation Center's Inventors' Assistance Program.
"Our project is unique," says Beauchamp, ''as far as we know, no one anywhere in the world has done anything like this." Initial results are encouraging: since limited publicity on women inventors began one year ago, the proportion of women among Innovation Centre clients has almost doubled. Increased innovation is a key to new business formation and to new jobs for Canadians:
For further information on workshops or copies of the newsletter, FOCUS, contact: Marie Le Lievre, 22 King Street South, Suite 500, Waterloo, Ontario N2J lN8, Tel: (519)746-3443.
"PLAYING WITH OUR
This booklet by Marcy Cohen and Margaret White, is an education and resource guide for clerical workers, union officials, students and teachers interested in the health and safety problems of video display terminals. Each section stands on its own and can be copied and used separately in classrooms or workplace settings. Included are specific suggestions for workshops and educational exercises as well as a list of books which refer to each section and a general resource list of health and safety organizations, newsletters, books, videos and films. "Playing With Our Health: Hazards in the Automated Office" is the second of two booklets. The first is more about how office work is being reorganized with the introduction of computer technology, and focuses on strategies to ensure the rights of workers and ordinary people. Order from The Women's Skill Development Society, 4340 Carson Street, Burnaby, BC, V5J 2X9, Tel: (604)4300450.