It has been an exciting week for the TechWomen community, as we welcomed #TechWomen17 Emerging Leaders to the San Francisco Bay Area! Meet some of these amazing women in the video below.
After arriving on September 17, Emerging Leaders commenced an action-packed first week of programming, known as Bootcamp Week.
Monday: Welcome Orientation
On Monday, Symantec hosted Emerging Leaders for the Welcome Orientation. In addition to receiving important logistical information for their stay in the United States, Emerging Leaders had the opportunity to get to know one another through structured networking. Sheila Jordan, Symantec’s Chief Information Officer, greeted the group with a keynote presentation focused on personal branding, setting the stage for Emerging Leaders’ four weeks in the Bay Area. Nancy Talbot, TechWomen Program Officer at the U.S. Department of State, made the trek from Washington, DC, to welcome the group and deliver opening remarks.
Despite jet lag, the group was full of energy and excited kick off the 2017 program. It was wonderful to see life-long friendships beginning to form!
Tuesday: Cultural Kickoff
On Tuesday, Juniper Networks literally rolled out the red carpet to welcome the 2017 Emerging Leaders for a Hollywood-themed Cultural Kickoff. Outfitted in traditional and national dress, Emerging Leaders from each of 20 countries took to the stage to present about their country’s culture and history, including by showcasing music and dance. At the end of the night, TechWomen mentors and staff took to the stage to present about the United States, focusing on our country’s rich diversity and closing the event with a medley of dances that all were invited to join.
Pictured below, clockwise from the top left, are Emerging Leaders from South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt and Sierra Leone.
Speakers at the event included Nancy Talbot, TechWomen Program Officer at the U.S. Department of State, Christina Thyyring-Jackson, HR Manager, Global Operations at Juniper Networks, and Jaye Chen, Executive Vice President at IIE (pictured below from left to right).
TechWomen Lead Jillian Scott addressed the group, sharing about the strength of the community, which now comprises more than 1,200 Emerging Leader and mentor alumnae, and the impact of program experience. “TechWomen is so much more than a five-week mentorship and exchange program. The next five weeks are the beginning of a life-long commitment to making an impact locally and across the globe.”
The evening was the first opportunity for many of the Emerging Leaders to meet their mentors in person. In between acts, all of the attendees were encouraged to mingle and get to know one another.
Wednesday: Program Orientation
During Wednesday’s Program Orientation, held at Synopsys, the group was joined by several mentors to learn more about professional mentorship, which begins today. When providing advice on how Emerging Leaders should approach their mentorship experiences, Rita Horner, Senior Technical Marketing Manager at Synopsys, kept it simple: “Be present, be flexible, be available.”
In addition to the mentor panel, the Emerging Leaders learned more about the activities planned by the Cultural Mentors and were introduced to the action plan and all other components of the TechWomen program.
Thursday: Action Plan Workshop 1
At the Action Plan Workshop, hosted at Oath and facilitated by Jill Ihsanullah and Briana Goldman of Linkage, Emerging Leaders split into action plan teams to begin developing social impact projects to implement upon return to their home countries.
During the first half of the day, the Emerging Leaders took part in hands-on activities, such as the Marshmallow Challenge, to establish the foundation of their action plan and learn about the framework for designing a solution to a particular socioeconomic challenge in their home country.
After Emerging Leaders developed impact maps to hone in on a specific theme for their action plans (showcased below), Impact Coaches joined Emerging Leaders in the afternoon to review their action plan blueprints and provide coaching as teams threshed out their plans. The day ended with a gallery walk, through which Impact Coaches and Emerging Leaders reviewed other teams’ blueprints and provided feedback. Emerging Leaders will have two more Action Plan Workshops before they pitch their ideas to a live audience.
Friday: Impact Design Workshop
On the final day of Bootcamp Week, Emerging Leaders gathered at Autodesk for the Impact Design Workshop. Facilitated by Autodesk team members, this inspiring day included sessions designed to spur innovation and inspire Emerging Leaders as creators. Bill O’Connor, Innovation Strategist at Autodesk, encouraged the Emerging Leaders to “think of something no one has done before and implement it in your work.” Lynelle Cameron, Vice President of Sustainability and CEO of the Autodesk Foundation, spoke about leveraging technology to impact the world and positively change it. Emerging Leaders were treated to a midday welcome from Andrew Anagnost, President and CEO of Autodesk, who stopped by to greet the group while they lunched with Autodesk executives.
Emerging Leaders left inspired and motivated by their time at Autodesk, particularly after hands-on activities at the Autodesk Gallery, such as laser cutting and testing Autodesk’s augmented and virtual reality technology, resulting in some fun images (below).
Today, Emerging Leaders will start their professional mentorships at San Francisco Bay Area tech companies.