Women and Engineering


The institution’s initiatives

Order of the White Rose

The Order of the White Rose was created by Polytechnique on the occasion of the 25th annual commemoration of the events of December 6, 1989, which cost the lives of 14 young women and injured several others, in tribute to the victims as well as the wounded, the families, the faculty members, the employees and the students forever affected by the tragedy.

The $30,000 Order of the White Rose scholarship is awarded annually by the Polytechnique administration to a Canadian woman engineering student who wishes to enrol in graduate-level studies in engineering (master’s or PhD) at the institution of her choice, in Canada or elsewhere in the world.

Week of the White Rose

Created by Polytechnique to mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy of December 6, 1989, the Week of the White Rose is an annual fundraising campaign that gives young girls from disadvantaged communities the opportunity to attend Folie Technique, Polytechnique Montréal’s science camp, and be introduced to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) activities.

Funds are raised through the sale of virtual white roses.

Financial assistance


Our program offers scholarships and bursaries to encourage women to pursue their engineering studies. Some are created by the Fondation de Polytechnique and others are internal Polytechnique awards. They include entrance scholarships, mobility grants, scholarships, and research scholarships.

List of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries (.pdf) (in French)

Career in engineering: Women and engineering guide, published by the Louise-Lalonde-Lamarre Library

Guide « Carrière en génie : femmes et génie » de la Bibliothèque Louise-Lalonde-LamarreThe Louise-Lalonde-Lamarre Library at Polytechnique has put together the online guide Career in Engineering: Women and Engineering, which compiles a wealth of resources for engineering careers for women.

Action Plan – Canada Research Chairs: Acting in favour of diversity

Plan d’action - Chaires de recherche du Canada : agir pour la diversité

Polytechnique Montréal has adopted the following declaration on its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion relative to the Canada Research Chairs Program and its research activities in general:

“Polytechnique Montréal believes in diversity as a stimulus for the growth of its creativity and an undeniable catalyst for excellence in its education, research and outreach activities. Polytechnique Montréal is steadfast in its commitment to inclusivity for women, members of visible minorities, Indigenous peoples, and people with disabilities. Polytechnique Montréal is actively engaged in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion throughout its community.”

The action plan Agir pour la diversité developed as part of the Canada Research Chairs Program aims to address under-representation of researchers from the four groups designated by the federal government—women, visible minorities, people with disabilities, and Indigenous peoples—among its holders of Canada Research Chairs (CRCs). Specifically, it describes the measures Polytechnique will take to achieve, by December 15, 2019, the minimum representation targets for each group assigned to it by the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS).

“Les filles et les sciences, un duo électrisant”

Les filles et les sciences, un duo électrisant

Les filles et les sciences, un duo électrisant” (“Girls and science: an electrifying duo!”) is an annual event for girls in Secondary II and III (ages 13 and 14) that provides an immersion in the world of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) so that they have a better idea study programs and careers in the field.

The daylong activity, hosted by a university, comprises a series of activities and guided workshops. Polytechnique is part of the event organizing committee for Montréal, and hosts the event every other year, alternating with the École de technologie supérieure.

Student Initiatives

Female students at Polytechnique take part in the full range of extracurricular activities, including technical societies, associations and student committees, but there are also a number of student organizations that dedicate some of their activities specifically to the success of women in engineering.

Poly-φ (Poly-Phi)


The Poly-φ committee was founded by women graduate students for the purpose of promoting engineering from the primary school to university levels. It took on the mission of the Marianne-Mareschal Chair, which created in 1998 and active until 2017.  Members provide free science workshops to girls from primary (grades 3 through 6) and secondary (I and II) school classes in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

The committee also organizes conferences and company visits in co-operation with industrial partners. These events, which that profile women role models in engineering, are available to all levels of the Polytechnique student community. Poly-φ has also established a multi-level mentorship program.

Poly-L: Leadership by women

Poly-L : Leadership pour elles

The Poly-L committee promotes leadership by women, with the ultimate goal of achieving gender parity at all levels in the workplace.

The committee holds conferences and workshops to raise awareness among the Polytechnique student population of the existence of cognitive biases, to strengthen the ambitions of female students, and to foster a spirit of cooperation between men and women that involves men in the thinking and solution process.

Folie Technique

Folie Technique

This non-profit organization founded by Polytechnique students organizes activities for primary and secondary school students including a summer science camp and in-class science workshops exploring STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects. Some Folie Technique activities are especially geared toward girls and designed to awaken their interest in science and engineering as well as dispel stereotypes about women and science.

Folie Technique is also a partner in the annual “Les filles et les sciences, un duo électrisant” event.