Honoring the past, supporting the future: Hatch announces new scholarships in memory of December 6, 1989’s Montreal’s École Polytechnique tragedy

December 6, 2019

Mississauga, Canada— The December 6, 1989’s École Polytechnique’s tragedy was a mass shooting at the École Polytechnique in Montréal, Québec, Canada. In only 20 minutes, 14 lives were lost forever. In a targeted attack on women, 12 engineering students, one nursing student, and one employee of the university were shot and killed, while 13 others sustained injuries. It is a tragedy that has left an irreparable mark on many lives.

This act of violence set the stage for a conversation about violence against women. In 1991, two years after the Massacre, the Parliament of Canada declared December 6 to be a National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day. This past Friday marked the 30th year since the tragedy.

Today, to honour the memory of the victims, Hatch, through a generous donation to the Polytechnique Montréal’s Fondation et Alumni, is proud to announce the establishment of three new $10,000 scholarships for women in leadership, which will be awarded to female students attending École Polytechnique to support them in their engineering journey. These scholarships are meant to help female students to succeed and to recognize their leadership as they set an example in the community and on Polytechnique Montréal’s campus.

Today’s announcement is the latest action that Hatch has taken to encourage and support women entering the STEM fields. Hatch has set the ambitious goal for women to make up 40% of all staff by 2023. We are committed to a diverse workforce because of the simple belief that a diverse and fully inclusive work environment fosters a plurality of thought and perspectives that solves challenging problems and creates value for our clients, communities, and the world at large.

Mélanie Kahle, Hatch’s global director, Simulation and regional director, Process, is an alumna of École Polytechnique Montréal, having graduated from their chemical engineering program just seven years after the Massacre.

In anticipation of this important day, Melanie has written a blog about the role of women in the engineering field, reflecting on the formative time spent at École Polytechnique Montréal in the years following the tragedy. Melanie also comments on how far the industry has come in welcoming more diverse ideas and mindsets in the pursuit of excellence and success, but also remarks on where we need to go to become a fully diverse and inclusive company and industry.

“30 years after the Polytechnique Montreal’s tragedy, the memory of this event has me thinking about the role of women in the field of engineering,” says Mélanie. “Two main points come to mind: the number of women choosing to pursue a career in this field and their success or the ability to persevere, excel, and have the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder and break the glass ceiling.”
“I am convinced that the presence of women in engineering is key to the success of engineering companies, because of the diversity of ideas women bring to the table and their contribution to the pool of available talent. This is true at all levels of a company, including management.”

Click here, to read Melanie’s full blog.

Learn more about our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace here.

For more information, please contact:

Lindsay Janca
Global Director, Public Relations
Tel: +1 905 403 4199
Email: media@hatch.com

About Hatch

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