By Edwina Duenas, Communications Associate
The TechWomen Alumnae Council recently hosted an information session to give mentors the opportunity to learn more about the new region in the TechWomen program, Central Asia. TechWomen will bring 21 Emerging Leaders from Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan to the U.S. this October for a month of mentorship and exchange. Having had multiple cohorts of TechWomen from the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, we’re eager to learn more about the new region and how we can best support the Central Asian Emerging Leaders during the program.
A group of about 40 mentors gathered at Symantec headquarters, where the Alumnae Council organized for the event to be hosted. Leaders included Shannon Fraser of the U.S. Commercial Service – Silicon Valley, Abhi Adhikari, co-founder of Business Clinic Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan, and Dana Kismetova, VP of Global Wealth Management at Morgan Stanley. Each speaker emphasized the diversity across the region, which is important in understanding each Emerging Leader’s professional and learning goals in their mentorship. Morever, the speakers shared how there is tremendous opportunity for growth across the region, and expressed excitement in welcoming 21 leaders this October.
With the need for more women role models in STEM and entrepreneurship globally, TechWomen is an opportunity for all Emerging Leaders to learn, innovate, and expand ideas. Dana, who hails from Kazakhstan, also shared this advice with mentors: “All of you knowing the Silicon Valley environment and how entrepreneurship works, you can shift the mentality of the Central Asian women, and have a huge impact on them. You can bring out the entrepreneurial spirit in them, and you can be that person to show them the roadmap from point A to B, and allow them to unleash their true potential.”
With that idea in mind, we look forward to the program this fall, and cultivating strong bonds with Mentors and Emerging Leaders through exchange.
A special thank you to mentors Lucie Newcomb, Jill Finlayson, and the Alumnae Council for organizing this event. If you have mentored with TechWomen in previous years, consider joining the alumnae Mightybell community for updates, networking opportunities, and more.