A cornerstone of the TechWomen program, the professional mentorship gives Emerging Leaders firsthand exposure to the innovative culture of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area while also expanding the global network of women in technology to build a solid pipeline of STEM professionals across the globe. Each Emerging Leader is matched with a Professional Mentor based on field of expertise, level of experience, and educational and professional background.
During the month-long mentorship in the fall, each Emerging Leader and Professional Mentor pair work collaboratively on a project at the Professional Mentor’s company in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project is tailored to their mutual skills and interests to create the most beneficial experience for both individuals. In addition to providing support and guidance on the project, the Professional Mentors opens doors for the Emerging Leaders to gain industry insight and network and engage with company leaders. Over the course of four weeks, a rich exchange of ideas and expertise takes place between the Emerging Leader and her Professional Mentor.
These mentorships create long-lasting relationships between the women, and many remain in touch with one another well after the program’s completion. Below are five quotes from Emerging Leaders from the 2013 program that highlight the impact the Professional Mentors have had on them both personally and professionally.
- “My mentor was exceptionally great and made me want to learn more. She facilitated a great working, learning, and networking environment. She opened up new horizons for me, and I am quite grateful.” – Emerging Leader from Zimbabwe
- “She arranged a real place in her team for me, took daily time to discuss the mentorship project, and helped me find the best person to help with issues. I appreciate her commitment, leadership, and advice.” – Emerging Leader from Algeria
- “She was really a perfect match for me, not only professionally, but also personally. She understood my business project and helped me to expand it and put me in contact with her team and with managers. She was also very honest with me and shared her thoughts on how I could improve my management skills.” – Emerging Leader from Cameroon
- “She was a great supporter on every level. She connected me with the right people, and she took a lot of initiative for my benefit.” – Emerging Leader from Egypt
- “She helped me define a project that would be most beneficial given the amount of time available to work on the project. She worked hard to make sure I met with as many people in my field as possible. Anything she could not directly teach me, she made sure to put me in contact with people who could.” – Emerging Leader from South Africa
TechWomen Mentors are vital to supporting the Emerging Leaders’ professional development. Interested in becoming a 2014 Professional Mentor? Check out the Professional Mentor page and sign up for our mailing list to receive updates about the application process. To learn more about TechWomen, please follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.