Guest blog post by Heather Ramsey
There is so much anticipation and excitement within the TechWomen team here at IIE with the arrival of the TechWomen Emerging Leaders on Tuesday! The women have begun their long trips from home to San Francisco. I can’t believe that we will very soon meet these 78 amazing women selected from more than 1,800 applicants. And, we will get to know them, support them, and watch them evolve and grow this month and impact everyone with whom they come in contact! These are brave women who are entering the unknown. Of course, we do what we can to inform and prepare them, but really nothing can prepare them for what they are about to experience. They leave their homes, jobs, communities and families to embark on this journey together and with us – the mentors and team who will help support them, professionally and personally, as we welcome them into our community and lives.
During the month of October, TechWomen Emerging Leaders will work side-by-side with women at leading companies, attend cultural events, participate in workshops and learn from each other about their own diverse countries and experiences. They will discover the generosity of our community and the diverse and innovative culture of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. It is such a joy, privilege and unique opportunity to work with such a gifted, ambitious and inspiring group of women – the Emerging Leaders, the Mentors and also the dedicated TechWomen team here at IIE and at the Department of State.
This will truly be a life-changing experience for all of us. It’s a new beginning from which will emerge new friendships, partnership, careers, businesses, initiatives, and, for many, a new view of ourselves and our world. Together, we will build upon the TechWomen network created over the last two years, including women from new countries and a whole new region. The power and diversity of this network is extraordinary and should not be underestimated. There is real power in numbers and our collective dreams. Together we will change the world, making it better for our communities, especially girls and women, today and long in the future. Let the journey begin!
For nearly 20 years Heather has been designing and leading programs focused on NGO capacity building, social entrepreneurship, technology and gender equity in emerging markets and developing countries. Her longtime commitment to the rights, empowerment and welfare of women and girls has been reinforced by her role as a mother to her daughter and stepdaughter. Heather spearheads our efforts to expand our global network by initiating and managing partnerships with key stakeholders dedicated to TechWomen’s mission and IIE’s Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives in San Francisco. @hramseysf