From left to right starting from the top: Stephanie Willerth, Jill Green, Amanda Kalhous, Elizabeth Canon, Elizabeth Croft, Catherine Harwood, Genanne Beck, Monique Frize, Valerie Orsat, Izabela Witkowska, Margaret Kuzyk, Claire Deschenes, Jennifer Smith, Ying Zheng, Goldie Nejat, Denise Pothier, Colleen Legzdins, Jeanette Southwood, Catherine Mulligan, and Carolyn Ren. Courtesy of Women of Innovation.

In Canada, as in other countries, women remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers, despite the substantial growth of women's participation in other professions. One of the main challenges identified by studies on the recruitment and retention of women in STEM is a lack of female role models. Anne Millar and Mary Wells, respectively a postdoctoral fellow and a professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of Waterloo, wrote Women of Innovation with the aim of helping to correct this issue by collecting and disseminating the stories of 20 inspiring and innovative women engineers in Canada.

You can read excerpts from each woman's story here as they are posted over the coming months, and if you would like to see more from Women of Innovation, you can purchase the book here.

Master of many trades
Carolyn Ren is an expert in multiple engineering fields, an award-winning researcher and has co-founded two corporations

Colleen Legzdins makes waves in wastewater treatment technology
Legzdins develops environmental solutions for the petrochemical industry

Ying Zheng creates catalysts for clean fuel
Zheng educates and engineers for a better future

Izabela Witkowska is a blue-sky thinker
Witkowska is a leader and mentor for women in aviation and aerospace

Margaret Kuzyk brings Canada up to code
An expert in regulatory standards, Kuzyk ensures building safety

Catherine Harwood builds bridges and relationships
Harwood explains how engineers can bring value to multi-disciplinary teams

Catherine Mulligan doesn't let waste go to waste
Mulligan is a world-renowned expert in the decontamination of water and sediments 

Jill Green is willing to make tough decisions
Green explains how engineering led to her becoming a CEO in the petroleum industry 

Monique Frize had to change the world of engineering
Frize was told engineering wasn't for women, but she pursued it anyways

 "We engineer for everyone, so engineering should be for everyone" 
Amanda Kalhous says diversity of thought is key for innovation and engineering 

 "I am not a professor by accident"
Stephanie Willerth works hard to achieve her goals and is not shy about her ambitions

Jennifer Smith is a lifelong learner
From technical work to leadership roles to mentorships, Smith never stops developing her skills

Claire Deschênes thrives in uncharted waters
Deschênes is a world-renowned expert in fluid mechanics despite having been the only woman in her class and the first female professor in the engineering department at Université Laval

Claire Deschênes s'épanouit en terres inconnues 
Dr Deschênes, la seule femme de sa classe à l'université Laval et la première professeure à y enseigner le génie, est une experte de renommée mondiale en mécanique des fluides.

Engineering taught Elizabeth Cannon how to be a leader
Cannon uses engineering skills in her role as president of the University of Calgary

Jeanette Southwood is giving back to engineering
Southwood is strategizing for the future of engineering and is a role model for the next generation of engineers

Valerie Orsat nourishes young minds
A professor specializing in food engineering, Orsat mentors students and cultivates functional foods

Elizabeth Croft brings women in STEM together
Croft recognizes and fights to dispel the implicit biases that continue to plague women in STEM fields

Denise Pothier gives a voice to those who need it
Pothier is applying traditional Aboriginal knowledge to business frameworks to make them more holistic

Goldie Nejat is creating helpers for helpers
Nejat's passion for engineering and healthcare led her to the study of assistive robots