It’s been ten days since the Emerging Leaders of the Fall 2022 TechWomen cohort arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area. Representing 21 countries from Africa, the Middle East and Central and South Asia, these 104 women have been warmly received by a community of over 250 local mentors and partner companies in the Bay Area.
The day following their arrival, the emerging leaders gathered as one for the first time to take part in their Welcome Orientation, hosted at Chan Zuckerberg Biohub with the sponsorship of long-time partner Synopsis. Among the inspiration of the day, they heard from representatives Jumana Muwafi, Rita Horner and Manuela Salvador, who connected on shared experiences with the Emerging Leaders. “We are all put in front of each other’s path to learn from one another,” Rita Horner impressed upon the gathering of TechWomen.
The next evening, emerging leaders collaborated as teams to facilitate an inspiring virtual Cultural Kick-Off with a World Café theme. Throughout four 20-minute sessions of breakout rooms, Emerging Leaders engaged the mentor community with their cultures through song, dance, discussion and visual representations.
That Monday, the emerging leaders gathered online for a virtual Design Thinking workshop with TechWomen partner Autodesk. Centered on the theme of emerging technology and design, this workshop led participants through an exploration of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking, challenging them to work in teams to address a global challenge.
“We believe everyone has the power to make a better, more productive world for all, said mentor Bobbie Casey, who was joined by colleagues Chantal Jaeger and Caitlin Silverstein of Autodesk, along with Lisa Palmiere and Mason Alexander of Mural.
The next day, Emerging Leaders took part in a full-day Leadership Workshop at partner LinkedIn’s Sunnyvale headquarters, kicking off with breakfast and a morning Clifton StrengthsFinder session with loyal mentor and facilitator Samantha Raniere. This was followed by lunch on the LinkedIn campus and an afternoon panel discussion featuring LinkedIn’s own Heather McKelvey, Monica Lewis and Shalini Agarwal with moderation by Preeti Dharwadkar. Together, they led an eye-opening discussion on how women can develop and lead in male-dominated tech spaces with the help of trustworthy alliances, strategic communication and powerful teams.
On Wednesday, September 28th, Emerging Leaders enjoyed their first days of professional mentorship with accomplished mentors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics who hold positions of leadership in consultancies, start-ups and major companies all across not only the Bay Area but also the United States.
To wrap up the week, Emerging Leader and Mentors converged in-person as one for the first time at long-standing partner Twitter’s downtown San Francisco headquarters for an evening of networking hosted by the TechWomen Alumni Council (TWAC).
Opening remarks were delivered by mentor Katie Penn, followed by a mentor panel on program success facilitated by moderator Heather Richbourg with panelists Pranali Khadpe, Mansi Modak, Kathy Giori and Samantha Raniere.