Women in Communications and Technology Announces 2021 Dr Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program Participants

OTTAWA, May 3, 2021 - Women in Communications and Technology announced today the successful applicants for the 2021 Dr. Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program. In collaboration with the Government of Canada and Microsoft Canada, the program benefits women, nonbinary people, and gender diverse people working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) in the early years of their career or returning from a recent period of absence.

The program brings together participants from the public, private and academic sectors to gain new perspectives on critical issues and developments in the digital economy, have direct access to leaders in the public and private sectors and participate in professional development training and discussions. The program also facilitates a peer network to help participants learn about STEM careers across sectors. Following the successful digital delivery of the 2020 program, this year’s program will also be offered virtually.

“During the last year, we’ve seen little or no change in building a diverse and inclusive workforce,” said Joanne Stanley, Executive Director of Women in Communications and Technology. “The Dr. Roberta Bondar Program helps those individuals who are entering or re-entering an ever-changing landscape with the network, access, and knowledge to lead and succeed in STEM.”

The 2021 Dr. Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program is supported by Canada’s Minister of Digital Government, the Honourable Joyce Murray, and co-championed by Lisa Carroll, Canadian Public Sector Lead, Microsoft Canada, and Jacquie Manchevsky, Assistant Deputy Minister, Data Centre Services Branch, Shared Services Canada.

“As public sector champion for this year’s Roberta Bondar Career Development Program, I’m excited for the opportunity to work with our partners on this initiative that not only supports women in STEM, but gender diverse individuals across various sectors,” said Jacquie Manchevsky. “I have met some of the incredible people in the 2020 cohort and I can’t wait to meet this year’s participants and watch them learn and grow.”

“Through the Dr. Roberta Bondar Career Development Program, I have seen the bright future of technology in this country and the strong leaders we already have in the pipeline,” said Lisa Carroll, public sector lead, Microsoft Canada. “Together with the WCT, Microsoft is committed to breaking down barriers and transforming our industry through diversity and inclusion, supporting and empowering women, nonbinary people and gender diverse people to thrive in today’s innovation economy.”

“Across Canada, women and gender diverse individuals are leading in areas ranging from cybersecurity, to programming, to artificial intelligence and many other fields. I am very happy to support this program and hear from young inspiring people working in STEM who will change our country for the better.”

– The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Digital Government

The 2021 Dr Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program participants are:

Aiysha Lalva, Stantec Consulting Ltd., Environmental Site Assessor 

Aparna Mathur, Shared Services Canada, Project Officer 

Arlin Otto, Tacoma Engineers, Structural Designer

Beth Tompkins, Health Canada, Scientific Evaluator

Briar Hunter, Laurentian University, Masters Student, Herpetologist 

Brittani Holder, University of Toronto, Security Analyst

Dhwani Trivedi, Correctional Service Canada, Programmer/Analyst 

Jocelyn Pender, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Biodiversity Data Manager

Linqiao Xia, Verafin, Computer Engineer 

Madalena Spencer, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Fuel Scientist

Makaila Jones, National Defence, Technological Support 

Marisa Kohut, 7D Surgical, Clinical Solutions Specialist

Meagan Betts, National Defence, Field Technician

Megan Smith, Axem Neurotechnology Inc., Mechanical Lead

Monica Granados, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Policy Advisor

Olivia Dayaram, Rogers Communications, Salesforce Application Developer

Regina Coeli Tolentino, Transport Canada, Business Management Officer, Regional Business Management Division, Civil Aviation 

Sammia Abrar, IBM Canada Ltd., Associate Chief Technology Officer Solution Architect at Office of the Chief Technology Officer, GTS Canada

Sana Abou-Shaaban, Canada Border Services Agency, IT Project Manager

Tammy Xuan Bui, McGill University, MSc. Public Health and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Graduate Scholar 

Weiyun Lin, Memorial University, Program Coordinator, NSERC PEOPLE CREATE Program


The Dr. Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program is sponsored by:

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