Dr. Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program

Dr Roberta Bondar

The Dr. Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program is an opportunity for women, nonbinary people, and gender diverse people working in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) to network with industry leaders and peers to  get a behind-the-scenes look at the science and tech industries in Canada. 

Support and lack of developing a professional network are often cited as barriers for women, nonbinary people, and gender diverse people entering and remaining in STEM careers. Participants of the Dr. Roberta Bondar Career Development Program benefit from developing strong relationships with like-minded participants and leaders working in traditionally male-dominated fields.

The program allows participants to expand their knowledge of public, private and academic sectors, gain new perspectives and have direct access to leaders in the public and private sectors.

What is it?

This is a career development program that aims to inspire participants to move forward in STEM fields, and to eventually transition into scientific and management leadership in the Canadian STEM domain. 

For a year, a group of 12 participants, five from the public sector, five from the private sector, and two from academia, participate in bi-monthly (twice a month) virtual sessions to expand their knowledge of public, private and academic sectors, and connect with leaders in government and private organizations. This program is co-created and participant driven to aim to ensure maximum effectiveness of participation.

who Can apply?

This program is open to those who identify as women, nonbinary people and gender diverse people who have entered a STEM (Science Technology Engineering or Math) position for the first time in the last five years or re-entered after a recent period of absence upwards of three years. Those working in both the private and public sectors and academia are encouraged to apply as cross-sector collaboration and exchange increases the value of the program. We encourage applicants from the LGBTQ2+ and BIPOC communities to apply.

Unsure whether you qualify? Email robertabondar@wct-fct.com for more information.

How to apply

Applications for 2021 are now closed.

Program expectations

Participants are expected to work collaboratively towards expanding networks and meeting program objectives. Successful participants will be expected to attend bi-monthly sessions, including panels, workshops and group discussions. The estimated time commitment for the program on a monthly basis is generally about six hours (two sessions of two hours in length, plus preparation and planning for the sessions). As this program is collaborative, session attendance impacts the experience of the cohort as a whole. Participants are expected to attend at least 80% of total sessions over the course of the year to facilitate a successful group experience.  

Following completion of the program, participants must work together on a written debrief to be submitted to WCT. The written debrief is to be used to help future cohorts of the program establish their program and meetings.

Terms and Conditions
  1. This program is open to those who identify as women, nonbinary people and gender diverse people.
  2. You must be hired into your first STEM position within the last five years or have re-entered in a science and technology position after a period of absence upwards of three years.
  3. You must make individual arrangements and seek approval from your employer for salary, benefits and leave of absence, if required.
  4. If selected, you must participate in the current year's program and cannot defer your acceptance to another date.
  5. All participants must be a WCT member. If you are not already a member, you are encouraged to apply to the program without purchasing a membership. Successful participants will need to purchase a membership upon acceptance to the program. Reduced membership rates are available for participants. 

Prospective applicants can view the Dr. Roberta Bondar STEM Career Development Program Privacy Policy here.

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


Jillian Anderson, Simon Fraser University

Jillian Anderson is a Big Data Developer at Simon Fraser University, where she works collaboratively with academic, government, and industry partners to apply big data and data science approaches to solve a wide variety of real-world problems. For Jillian, data science offers a unique lens through which to approach diverse topics from marine acoustics to feminist epistemology. Conversely, her interdisciplinary background bolsters Jillian’s ability to collaborate with experts and integrate their expertise into traditional approaches to data. When not solving problems with data, Jillian enjoys playing squash and exploring the outdoors through endeavours like cycling and backcountry camping.

Mylene Archambault-Caron, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Mylène Archambault-Caron has always been interested in science and technology. This had led her to get a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in automation at Polytechnique Montréal. Afterwards, she worked for two years in the private sector, first in a consulting firm and then in the engineering team of a plant in the mining industry. She is now working in the public sector as a patent examiner and is proud to contribute to the scientific advancement and economic growth of Canada. She is an avid cyclist and loves to write fiction.

Maryam Azarnia, Komixstream

Maryam is an interdisciplinary designer from BC specializing in User Interface & Experience Design(UI/UX). Her background is in Industrial Design and she is passionate about storytelling, emerging technologies, building communities, and visual design. Art and science are her inspirations and her professional goal is to implement responsible, minimalistic and ethical design.


Sandeep Bhogal, Canada Border Services Agency

Sandeep Bhogal graduated from the University of Ottawa in June of 2019 with a dual degree in Biomedical Mechanical Engineering and Computing Technology. During her undergraduate degree, she was elected as the Vice President of Social Affairs for the Engineering Students’ Society, the Vice President of Financial Affairs for WISE UOttawa and volunteered for many competitions and events. Currently she works as an Application Developer with the Canada Border Services Agency and continues to exhibit her leadership skills by being a part of the Visible Minority Advisory Committee (VMAC), the 30 by 30 Committee with PEO and Kids Code Jeunesse.

Linda Dao, Canada Space Agency

Linda Dao is a Project Officer in Operational Space Medicine at the Canadian Space Agency contributing to the vision development for Canada’s space health initiatives. She studied Biochemistry at McMaster University, where she co-founded the twice award-winning MOON Club, and received her Master’s degree from the International Space University. In 2013, Linda’s designed experiment was performed on the International Space Station by Commander Chris Hadfield. Outside of work, Linda serves diverse roles in non-profit organizations. Leveraging her work, research and volunteer experiences, Linda creates impetus in order to inspire others toward, and highlight opportunities within, the STEM disciplines.

Micaela Gray, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Micaela Gray is a Research Technician with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Since joining Ag-Canada in 2019, Micaela has played an integral role in establishing a new analytical chemistry laboratory and has contributed to food safety and security by analyzing newly developed agricultural products for mycotoxins. As lead laboratory technician, she is also responsible for method development, instrument maintenance, and training students and junior technicians. With a passion for personal and professional development, Micaela is a lifelong learner who enjoys mentoring others. Micaela holds an M.Sc. in Chemistry and a B.Sc. in Toxicology, both from the University of Guelph.

Erin Kennedy, Bayview Yards

Erin “RobotGrrl” Kennedy is the technical founder and CEO of Robot Missions, where she designed and developed an entirely 3D printed robot to collect harmful plastic pollution on shorelines. She completed the Space Studies Program at International Space University, developing an augmented reality viewer of spacecraft. Erin works at the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards helping entrepreneurs bring their hardware products to life. Following an unconventional academic path, Erin learned from online resources, mentors, and communities. She aspires to create an outer space power station to extend mission durations for lunar rovers and habitats.

Meher Khan, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Meher Khan is a Senior Systems Analyst with the SAP Custom Development team, within PSPC. In her tenure, she has been part of multiple projects, where she collaborated with multi-disciplinary teams to resolve IT requirements. Today she spends significant time analysing specifications, developing and implementing solutions. When acting manager, she led her team and aided upper management implement and establish technical priorities aligned with our corporate vision. On a personal note, she is the mother of four exceptional and incredible young ladies who make her husband and her better people.

Dr. Crystal McLellan, Western University

Dr. Crystal McLellan is a research technician with the Robarts Research Institute at Western University where she currently investigates microRNA expression profiles in ALS brain tissue. She earned a Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree followed by a doctoral degree in biochemistry from Western University, as well as several provincial and national awards including an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship. Dr. McLellan lives in London, Ontario with her husband and two children and enjoys practicing yoga.

Cecilia Odonkor, WinTerra Global Technologies

Cecilia is a Biomedical and Electrical engineering professional with over four years of experience in clinical research and biomedical product development in the biotechnology industry. A core part of her engineering practice involves directing her efforts towards creating a more inclusive STEM space for womxn and underrepresented minorities. This is done through her contribution to many womxn focused career development organisations including Women Powering Technology (WPT), Immigrant Women in Sciences (IWIS) and the Society of Women Engineers Ottawa (SWE Ottawa), of which she is a founding member. In her spare time, Cecilia loves to read, laugh and cook with friends.

Tharmiga Ragunathan, Rogers

Tharmiga Ragunathan is an Electrical Engineer, working towards her Professional Engineering license. She currently works at Rogers Communication as a Service Specialist, a 24/7 network operations team dedicated to supporting all wireless voice services. Her curiosity to learn, combined with the drive to take on challenges led her journey into engineering. Tharmiga loves exploring the outdoors, trying new cuisines, travelling, and giving back to the community. She strives to become a leader as her passion for innovation in the rapidly growing domain of STEM will always keep her interested in continuing to grow her career and push the industry forward.

Jasmine Shaw, General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada

Jasmine Shaw is an engineer, Masters candidate, and advocate for women in STEM. At General Dynamics Mission Systems – Canada, as the Release Train Engineer on the Maritime Helicopter Project, she is instrumental in transitioning the program to its support phase. As RTE, she coordinates between several engineering teams to resolve challenges, identify opportunities for improvement, and translate team needs into action plans. Through Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management program, she is studying the business ecosystem structures that enable women to pursue STEM careers. She is a passionate ambassador for women in STEM, dedicating time to organizations including Carleton, SWE, WiDS, and Technovation.