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Annette Bergeron on: 3 Books To Inspire Recent Graduates

Annette Bergeron, P.Eng, MBA, FEC is a two-time Top 25 Women of Influence, past President of Professional Engineers Ontario and a thirty-year advocate for women in STEM. She graduated from Queen’s University in Metallurgical Engineering and has maintained a close relationship with Queen’s ever since (former director of the first-year enginneering program and general manager of their Alma Mater Society).

With convocation season upon us, we asked Annette to weigh in on what books would be fitting to gift to recent graduates and future women of influence. Here are her top three picks.

Headstrong by Rachel Swaby


This new book was recently lent to me by a woman who follows my advocacy of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Most of us should be able to name at least three famous women scientists over the past century but can you name 52?

This book takes us inside the lives of some award winners while also celebrating the lesser-known but hugely significant scientists because in my experience, we as women historically shy away from, or are held-back from, the limelight and sometimes we have to be pushed into it.

This is my push to inspire recent STEM graduates!







Paikin and The Premiers by Steve Paikin


This book is for all the new political scientist graduates.

I worked with a number of poli-sci students at Queen’s University and mentored them through their student government leadership. Then, around the time that Steve’s book came out I myself was courted first as a provincial nominee, then federal. I had experience lobbying the premier’s office but needed a Politics 101. Steve’s study of nine of our Premiers helped me see if I could do what they do. And so I learned how to say “not right now.”








From This Moment On by Shania Twain

I chose this book to inspire recent graduates in the arts.

I don’t read many autobiographies, but this is a heroine from small town Ontario whose artistry I had enjoyed. The story resonated with me as Shania had many obstacles to overcome on her journey to success and relied on her craft for survival. Like me, her marriage ended unexpectedly and she increasingly focused on her children. She was strong, found love again, and reignited her career. I identified with her changes in womanhood over time, both emotional and physical!



Interested in getting access to role models like Annette? Visit our upcoming events page and see which speakers we have lined up this season!