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Main takeaways of Illuminate X Durham Conference

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

Today, Women in the STEM careers are belittled and seen as minorities. They are not seen for their accomplishments which is very upsetting. Males are seen as more fit for these careers as women are constantly underestimated which is truly unfair.Women are purposely steered away from these careers as males are given more opportunities. We should be given equal opportunities to pursue what we love. This conference has taught me that as we continue to learn and educate ourselves we can make a difference in our corrupted society!


Hi everyone! My name is Mayure Thillairasa and I am a Grade 10 student at Pine Ridge Secondary School. Today I had the pleasure to attend Illuminate X Durham's regional conference. I was given the opportunity to meet many inspiring women as there keynotes, presentations, and workshops were truly enlightening!




Here are my thoughts highlighting what I learned throughout the conference:

  • Youth Stereotypes

  • Women stereotypes

  • Imposter syndrome

  • Prioritize human rights




The first keynote speaker, Mrs.Dougherty, touched upon how the youth are frowned up and stereotypes that define youth as lazy; not capable of accomplishing anything. She expressed that young people have unique abilities and are risk-takers that are very innovative while adults don't see what they can offer. She taught us to embrace our role as challengers and work together to push things to develop change. I related to her experiences on how she experienced difficulties in having her voice heard and her ideas being frowned upon.


I also admired Dr. Fradin's presentation which was very informational as she talked about great topics like unconscious bias and stereotypes of women. I view her as an amazing role model as a STEM women. I also have a passion for working in STEM so her valuable presentation helped me a lot to understand what I should look forward too. She had given amazing advice regarding post-secondary information which I found beneficial!


Moreover I had the pleasure of learning something new from Mackenzie Clark, she had talked about imposter syndrome. It is essentially when we feel like we are not good enough which can breed high achievers. She had talked about her experiences and how confidence can motivate anyone to move forward aswell as do better!


The last keynote speaker, Ms.Gunraj had talked about prioritizing human rights and people. She had expressed important ways to contribute to society which I find is very inspirational as well. She showed us how important it is to stand up for what is right and question injustices around the world. She has a passion for human equity and I find that I also have the same interests as her as well!


I had the pleasure to work with amazing people and figure out a solution for the well thought out case study. Although I was very nervous, I still enjoyed trying to find out multiple solutions for the issues and presenting it to the Illuminate team!


Overall, I enjoyed this conference as I learned valuable things that I can apply to my learning in my future career goals. I admired how engaging and interactive the speakers were and I felt very moved by their speeches! During these hard times I know how hard it is to socialize and learn, but through this well planned conference I found it truly great to experience and learn amazing things!

Thank you Illuminate!