A Busy Year for Women in Nuclear Canada

Group of pople sitting around tables looking at a speaker at the front of the room

This October, Women in Nuclear (WiN) Canada hosted their 20th annual conference in Niagara Falls, ON. The conference brought together members from across the country as well as speakers, exhibitors, and municipal leaders.

This year, for the first time, the conference hosted a vendor marketplace. It featured several indigenous artists who sold earrings, scarves, necklaces, and much more. Other local artists sold goods such as woodworking pieces, candles, and even freeze-dried candy.

The WiN annual conference focuses on creating opportunities for networking, professional development, expanding industry knowledge, and technical tours. This year’s theme, “Splitting Atoms and Breaking Barriers,” focused on recent advancements in the nuclear industry. Sessions highlighted topics such as climate change, leadership, decommissioning, and isotopes.

There were six technical tours that participants could attend to experience various aspects of the nuclear industry in person. Tours included locations such as a Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) research and development facility, an SNC Lavalin (now AtkinsRéalis) manufacturing facility, a McMaster Nuclear Reactor (MNR) tour, and the Niagara Parks Power Station.

WiN Canada has over 5,000 members, and WiN Global has 35,000 members worldwide. Membership in the organization is free, and WiN encourages people from all nuclear-touching professions—from operators to lawyers, researchers to policy makers—regardless of gender, to join. Everyone is welcome.

Beyond the annual conference, WiN offers a variety of programs and services, including mentoring, scholarships, outreach, personal development, and networking opportunities. WiN’s mission is to develop a factual dialogue with the public about nuclear applications and energy, exchange knowledge, and promote interest in nuclear professions, particularly among women.

In 2023, WiN Canada released their Gender Balance Roadmap: A Roadmap for the Nuclear Industry. The document was created as a joint effort with Natural Resource Canada. The roadmap is part of Canada’s Equal by 30 campaign, which aims to increase women’s participation in the clean energy industry. Both private, public, and government organizations have committed to creating equal opportunities for women in the industry.

WiN Canada continues to grow and expand their efforts to support their members and local communities. Additional information about the organization and how to join is available on their website.


Mackenzie Tigwell

Mackenzie Tigwell recently completed her MSc in radiation sciences / medical physics at McMaster University. Her research focused on holmium-based poly-lactic acid microsphere production at the McMaster Nuclear Reactor. (Read her short-listed abstract from last year’s Anthony J. MacKay Student Paper Contest: Factors Contributing to Ho-166/PLLA Microsphere Degradation.)

Mackenzie is an advocate for accessible science and she participates in various nuclear communication outreach projects. She has published two booksA Guide to Radiation for the Everyday Scientist and ABCs of Nuclear Science. Her goal is to explain complicated topics in plain language. She served as a special events coordinator with Let’s Talk Science, where she organized several research symposiums, including “Let’s Talk Nuclear,” which offered classes in five different provinces. She is passionate about the nuclear field and excited to grow her career in this industry.


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