By Edwina Dueñas, Communications Associate
TechWomen connects emerging women leaders to the resources, networks and knowledge they need to make an impact. The program brings these women one step closer by calling on Emerging Leaders (ELs) to formulate an action plan to implement in their countries that addresses a key issue in their communities. At TechWomen’s Action Plan Workshop hosted by Theranos on October 10, ELs began transforming concepts into actionable, impactful plans.
A focus for the TechWomen program is not only equipping ELs with the tools needed for them to become change agents, but building the community necessary in mobilizing every idea. With every new idea come challenges in the startup process. Theranos CEO and Founder Elizabeth Holmes shared her mindset for success when she first founded the company in 2003.
“You have to focus on your actions. I really believe that part of why this is so special with this group of people here today is you’re going to go back and go to all these communities, and through your actions, you will change things.”
Throughout the program, ELs will collaborate, share mutual solutions to community issues and apply what they learn from TechWomen to their home countries. The workshop provided ELs sessions with leaders, such as Theranos’ Chief Creative Officer Patrick O’Neill and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen. Mentors participated in a speed-geek session, in which each action plan group received feedback from multiple mentors. ELs will continue to build out their action plans this month, before pitching their ideas. ELs were invigorated by the sessions and speakers and felt even more inspired to carry out their work.
“The opening remarks by Elizabeth Holmes urged us to inspire fellow women,” noted EL Sarah Mwangi of Kenya. “With valuable insights for developing realistic action plans from our mentors, we were able to delve deeper into the action plans that had been conceptualized before.”
ELs will rely closely on one another to see their plans to fruition. TechWomen fosters a community of women supporting women, which in itself, makes an impact. A key factor in facilitating professional development is the mentor relationships formed through the program. Just as ELs are passionate about supporting women and girls in their local settings, mentors participate in TechWomen as a way to impart knowledge to their global counterparts.
In line with the idea of women helping women, Elizabeth challenged each EL— or “iron sister” — to return home with the mission of helping another 100 women. Launching the #ironsisters campaign this past weekend on social media, Elizabeth hopes to spur women around the world to support one another in meaningful ways.
“If every single one of you go back home and make a decision that you are going to be a person that helps other women and that it’s genuine, you will change the paradigm,” Elizabeth stated.