Two Decades of Empowerment: SFU WiCS is Inspiring Women in Computing Science

March 20, 2024

SFU's Women in Computing Science (WiCS) recently celebrated a significant milestone - their 20th anniversary. On February 16th, alumni and current students came together for a reunion event, commemorating two decades of empowerment, growth, and inspiration.

The evening kicked off with a captivating talk from the Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Eugene Fiume. He shared his insights and experiences in computing science, underlining the pivotal role of women in the field. Dr. Fiume began his address by reflecting on the guidance and inspiration he received from women mentors throughout his career. He highlighted their invaluable support, emphasizing the critical role women played in his journey to where he is today.  

The event continued with Dr. Angelica Lim and Dr. Parmit Kaur Chilana, co-founders of WiCS and current SFU faculty members, who provided an overview of WiCS’s journey, from its inception to its current standing as a cornerstone of the SFU computing community. They highlighted significant milestones such as the creation of the mailing list, the adoption of the WiCS logo, and the organization’s constitution. They appreciated its growth to a member list of 1600+ people. It was a touching reminder of the dedication and vision that have shaped WiCS over the years.

The celebration continued with the introduction of the current WiCS Co-President, Denise Siu, who reflected on the evolution of WiCS and its profound impact on her life. She introduced the current executive team and shared her vision for the future of WiCS. Expressing heartfelt gratitude, Denise extended her thanks to everyone who has contributed to WiCS’ growth and success over the past 20 years. Additionally, she thanked those who paved the way for WiCS and acknowledged the support of past members and allies in advancing the organizations’ mission.  

Throughout the evening, over 70 attendees were invited to engage in a variety of activities designed to celebrate WiCS' rich history and legacy. From exploring a journey exhibit highlighting WiCS' milestones to participating in survey polls and spinning the prize wheel, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Attendees had the opportunity to share their WiCS memories at the Memory Hub, piece together cherished moments in the Memory Mosaic Puzzle, and capture the festivities at the Snapshot Spot.

The event closed with a heartfelt reflection from WiCS’s beloved department liaison, sumo kindersley, who has been a witness to WiCS' journey from the beginning. Her words emphasized the organization’s commitment to empowering women in computing science and fostering lifelong connections.  

As the celebration ended, attendees were left with a profound sense of gratitude and inspiration. WiCS has not only empowered women in computing science but has also fostered a sense of community through multiple generations. Looking to the future, WiCS is eager to continue its mission of inspiring the next generation of women in computing science.

The WiCS team extends heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended and supported WiCS throughout the years. Your dedication and enthusiasm have been instrumental in making WiCS the thriving community it is today. Here is to another 20 years of innovation, empowerment, and celebration with WiCS!

Learn more about WiCS’ past and their upcoming events on their website.