International Women’s Day: Science, health and gender experts available


York University experts available to discuss how their work supports gender equality

TORONTO,  March 6, 2019 International Women’s Day on March 8 is a time for women to reflect on the progress made and to highlight the goal of a gender-equal world.

This year, the United Nations’ theme is “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” which puts a spotlight on innovation by women and girls, for women and girls, at the root of achieving gender equity. The day is an opportunity to examine how innovation can build services and infrastructure that meet the needs of women and girls, and look at women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions, which continue to be underrepresented.

The following York University experts are available for interviews on their research and work which help to build more inclusive systems, remove barriers and advance gender balance.

Boardroom table of men and women to illustrate International Women's Day and a more gender-equal world.

York University experts available to discuss gender equality for International Women's Day.


Dawn Bazely, a biology professor in the Faculty of Science, has spent nearly three decades as an ecologist leading research in plant-herbivore interactions and invasive plant management. Bazely is a STEM scholar who is known for her research and expertise on the intersection of science, policy and politics. She is also focused on reversing the under-representation of women and minorities in STEM and teaching students how to edit Wikipedia to include more biographies about women to reduce the gender gap.

She can comment on:

  • Women in science
  • The Wikipedia Edit-a-thon as a tool for science history
  • Climate change and climate change policy
  • Impact of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity and invasive species

Roberta Timothy is an assistant lecturer in the Faculty of Health with an expertise in global health, human rights, ethics and race. Her research has focused on transnational Indigenous health and anti-oppression/anti-colonial approaches to mental health. She has also conducted research on how factors such as gender identity, class, sexual orientation, disability, violence and generational connections, impact the health of Black communities and other racialized communities through innovative decolonizing health practices.

She can comment on:

  • Global health with a focus of human rights and ethics
  • Building services and infrastructure for Black and racialized women and girls
  • Women and girl’s mental health and trauma
  • Women, girls and child-centred health programs for racialized communities

Jen Gilbert, an associate professor in the Faculty of Education, was the only Canadian investigator in the Beyond Bullying Project, which examined and expanded the terms of cultural recognition and social belonging surrounding LGBTQ sexuality, gender and youth in U.S. schools. The project – a collaboration with education, research and strategic communications partners – conducted research to uncover the ordinary ways LGBTQ conversations circulate inside schools.

She can comment on:

  • Children and youth’s understanding of gender and sexuality
  • Teachers' understandings of gender and sexuality
  • LGBTQ issues in education
  • Sex education curriculum

Souha Ezzedeen  is an associate professor in the School of Human Resource Management in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. Her research focuses on human resources and organizational behaviour, with a focus on the advancement of women in organizations, gendered career advancement and work-life balance strategies for executives.

She can comment on:

  • Women’s career and work-life balance and imbalance and coping with stress
  • Workplace issues including gender stereotypes
  • Impact of maternity leave and motherhood on career
  • Female leadership in technology and women in media

Pat Armstrong, a Distinguished Research Professor of sociology in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies is known for her contributions to and leadership in improving the lives of women. Her research focuses on how policy and social services impact women. She has served as an expert witness in cases before the Federal Court and Human Rights Tribunals on issues related to women’s health care work and to pay equity.

She can comment on:

  • Women’s health care work and pay equity
  • Segregated work and feminism
  • Workplace violence against long-term care workers
  • Canadian health care system, home care and healthy aging

York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni.
York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media Contact: Vanessa Thompson, York University Media Relations, 647-654-9452,