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Alum mentor fosters inclusivity in tech

In the ever-evolving tech scene, Alicia Wong (BCS’20) stands out as a trailblazer and advocate for diversity in her industry.
Alicia Wong is seated with her open laptop in a learning commons setting with others on laptops in the background.

Posted: March 15, 2024

By: Aishwarya Shrestha

Alicia Wong (BCS'20) has seamlessly blended her passion for technology with a commitment to fostering inclusivity. Now a security consulting team lead at Accenture in Ottawa, Wong navigates the tech world with an unwavering dedication to empowering women.

From her early years, Wong displayed a natural affinity for technology, fuelled by her prowess in math and science. Choosing a future in computer science was a natural progression, allowing her to channel her problem-solving skills into creating innovative solutions.

Fostering skills at Dal

During her time at Dalhousie, Wong's passion for technology flourished. The supportive classes and community at the university equipped her with the skills needed to embark on a successful career in the tech sector. This foundation laid the groundwork for her commitment to mentorship and advocacy for diversity in technology.

Wong's journey from Dal to Accenture was not without challenges, some rooted in the gender gap pervasive in the tech industry. Recognizing the importance of a robust support network, Wong became a strong advocate for mentorship.

As a student, she played a pivotal role as the President of Women in Technology Society (WiTS) at Dalhousie, contributing to the creation of the flagship peer mentorship program for female-identifying students. This initiative showcased the profound impact of building a supportive community for female-identifying students and set the stage for Wong's ongoing role as a mentor in the industry.

The power of mentorship

Reflecting on the challenges faced by young women entering the tech industry, Wong says:

“Mentorship, I believe, provides crucial support, inspiration, and education, breaking down barriers and empowering individuals to pursue their career goals."

For young women contemplating a career in technology, especially those hesitant due to the gender gap, Wong advises building a strong network of support. She encourages aspiring technologists to embrace opportunities and progress within the industry, emphasizing the importance of connections with peers and the broader technology community.

Wong is currently a mentor in the Leacross Leadership program for Women in Tech. Over the past two years, the Leacross Foundation has gifted more than $200,000 to the Faculty’s WeAreAllCS initiative to increase diversity in computer science through scholarships and programming to support the attraction and progression of female-identifying students. The Leacross Foundation is a not-for-profit committed to educating women and children in society with a focus on providing opportunities for training at accredited institutions in the STEM fields.

Wong remains committed to supporting women in tech through mentorship. This commitment has been transformative for her personal and professional growth. Through this program, she supports and guides students entering the tech industry, giving back to the community that played a crucial role in her own career development.

The positive impact of volunteering

Portrait of Alicia Wong.

As a mentor, Wong strives to be a reliable source of support, sharing her experiences and insights to shape the careers of the next generation of diverse tech talent. Her continued participation in the mentorship program reflects her dedication to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment within the tech community.

Wong encourages other alumni to engage in volunteering activities, emphasizing the positive impact volunteering can have on communities. Volunteering, she believes, is an opportunity to support others and contribute to the development and growth of communities, underscoring the belief that small actions can make a significant difference in the lives of students and the community as a whole.