Shaping inclusive network cultures

How can we ensure that young women have the mentoring support and inclusive networks they need to launch their careers successfully? Project SINC aims to increase integration of women in social networks as they transition from university to the workplace.



Key Obstacle

Social exclusion in professional networks


Integrate men and women to collaborate effectively and promote each other

The Problem

Promotion and retention at work is tied to an employee’s integration in social networks and interactions with colleagues, but women in STEM often report subtle signs of exclusion in their interactions with others in male dominated fields. These experiences of exclusion make women especially aware of their gender and contribute to workplace burnout. Women’s exclusion from professional networks means that they often miss out on key opportunities to advance their careers.

Our Approach / Goals

SINC will test interventions. One intervention is designed to increase belonging and reduce stress among identity-threatened students. A second intervention will use a peer mentoring program designed to increase positive interactions between men and women in the workplace. In partnership with the undergraduate engineering programs at the Universities of Toronto, Waterloo, and British Columbia, a social inclusion intervention will be implemented among 4th year engineering students and a mentorship intervention during their 2nd year on the job in order to measure the efficacy of these programs for create a sense of social support and mutual respect between students as the make the transition from university to the workplace.

Photo Credit: Engineering Science Quest

Key Leaders

Elizabeth Croft PhD

Dean of Engineering, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering, Monash UniversityRead Bio

Elizabeth Page-Gould PhD

Canada Research Chair in Social Psychophysiology, University of TorontoRead Bio

The Team

The Project SINC team combines expertise in the science of implicit gender bias, bias reduction, intergroup contact, diversity, and STEM outreach.

Sonia Kang PhD

Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Management, University of Toronto Mississauga and the Rotman School of Management, University of TorontoRead Bio

Stephen Wright PhD

Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology, Simon Fraser UniversityRead Bio

Steve Spencer PhD

Professor of Psychology, University of Waterloo; Robert K. and Dale J. Weary Chair in Social Psychology, Ohio State UniversityRead Bio

Lesley Shannon PhD

NSERC Chair for Women in Science and Engineering (BC/Yukon); Associate Professor, School of Engineering Sciences, Simon Fraser UniversityRead Bio

Sheryl Staub-French PhD

Goldcorp Professor for Women in Engineering; Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, University of British ColumbiaRead Bio

Mary Wells PhD

Dean of the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Guelph Read Bio

Project Partners

Project SINC proudly partners with University of Toronto, University of British Columbia, University of Waterloo, Simon Fraser University, Engineers Canada, the Engineering Change Lab, the Ontario Network for Women in Engineering (ONWiE), the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST), and the Network of NSERC Chairs for Women in Science and Engineering.


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