Actua is Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) youth outreach network representing 41 university and college-based members. Each year, Actua’s growing network of member organizations reach over 300,000 young Canadians in 500 communities nationwide.
Over the past 25 years, Actua has engaged with over 5,000,000 youth in Canada, evolving and growing as an organization. What has remained the same over the years is their unwavering focus on engaging the hardest to reach youth in Canada, ensuring each and every person has the opportunity to develop essential STEM skills.
Jennifer Flanagan, the CEO of Actua, explains to HOLR Magazine that diversity and inclusion play an essential role in Actua’s community outreach program. “The pandemic has exposed an array of underlying weaknesses and inequalities in Canada’s economical and societal infrastructure. At Actua, a main goal of ours is ensuring individuals who might not have the same opportunities in front of them are supported and are provided with these learning experiences.”
The female CEO and powerhouse was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2007, was the recipient of a Y Women of Distinction Award (Education and Training) in 2011, and was named one of Ottawa’s Top Forty Under 40.
Jennifer is both an incredible businesswoman and also a mother. She outlines that “creating space for diverse perspectives is critical to growth and innovation—essential in pushing our society further.” This includes creating space in all industries for women, people of colour, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and persons of different religious backgrounds. Though she acknowledges that being a mother and a CEO poses a set of challenges, it by no means is a reason for companies to disregard women for high level positions—a point proven by her personal success.
The national charitable organization leans on camps, classroom workshops, clubs, and community outreach to inspire and engage with Canadian youth, igniting a desire within these students to make a move, follow their dreams, and really pave their path forward toward a bright future in the field and industry they wish to discover.
To learn more about Actua, visit Actua.ca.