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IWS Network promotes online model to help members through the pandemic

The Immigrant and International Women in Science Network (IWS) is a non-profit organization that provides support and mentorship for fellow immigrant and international women in the STEM fields.

“Because of COVID-19, as with so many organizations, we had to rethink how we were structured and how we were going forward,” said Sweta Rajan, Equity Diversity and Inclusion consultant and co-founder of IWS.

Before the pandemic, IWS used to hold in-person meetings across the country. They ended up switching to online sessions as a temporary replacement for the past year and a half.

“It’s been a wonderful thing to see how we as a community were able to respond to this challenging time,” said Rajan.

On a positive note, IWS has been able to expand its network with people and communities from all over the world, joining its online calls.

“Everyone now feels like they have a space to contribute and listen to others, so that’s been great to see,” she said.

The organization plans to integrate those meetings with their pre-pandemic system due to the higher accessibility that an online platform can provide.

“Many people can’t attend some meetings because there is such a big commute time, child care issues and things like that, so we’re certainly leaning towards a hybrid model looking forward,” Rajan added.

All meetings are available on IWS’s new youtube channel for those who have missed or are looking into learning more about the organization and its projects.

“What makes workplaces and communities thrive is the fact that we lean on each other, and that’s been the biggest thing that I’ve seen in this pandemic,” said Rajan.

For more information, you can access their Twitter or Facebook page, as well as their website www.iwsnetwork.ca 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of U Multicultural.

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