In the third week of the Fall 2022 TechWomen program, Emerging Leaders (ELs) took part in Action Plan Workshop II, before embarking on a full week focused on intense and immersive mentorship experiences with their volunteer Professional Mentors (PMs), Cultural Mentors (CMs) and Impact Coaches (Ics) from the Bay Area and beyond.
Led by the TechWomen team, with facilitation from Acting Director & Program Manager Casey Bulen, Action Plan Workshop 2, of the three-part series, saw country teams refining the design of their action plans. The focus of this virtual workshop was on ideating innovative, sustainable, scalable and collaborative projects to address a socioeconomic issue in their home countries. Support was provided from their TechWomen impact coaches, who visited teams in breakout rooms to serve as sounding boards and provide valuable feedback on action plan ideas. “You’re not trying to solve the very big thing. You’re trying to solve the issue you are seeing day-to-day,” articulated IC Anar Simpson, identifying a key component of action plan success for the Fall 2022 emerging leaders.
For the rest of the week, mentors took the lead in orchestrating a wide array of customized mentorship experiences that involved dynamic virtual, in-person and hands-on activities. To showcase these events, select Emerging Leaders participated in “Instagram Takeovers” of our social media account, bringing the community along on their personal and team journeys throughout the week for insider looks at the day-to-day workings of the TechWomen experience.
“What happens there, behind the doors? Many things!” mused EL Kseniia Tysganova (pictured above, far left), who gave a sneak peak into Team Kyrgyzstan’s action planning experience during the inaugural IG Takeover of the Fall 2022 program. “We learn daily and work hard to make our vision of a better future come true. And luckily [we] aren’t alone in [our] journey! We have amazing mentors to guide us.”
“Having five Emerging Leaders in one team is a lot,” Kseniia shared, spotlighting her Kyrgyz teammates (left to right), Dinara Moldosheva, Nora Azygalieva, Darika Aldasheva, and Bermet Dosmambetova. “The desire not only to be heard but to listen is essential. Treating your team with respect is another important thing. But in those unique conditions, something incredible is about to bloom.”
Immediately following Kseniia’s takeover, renewable energy-focused ELs Esther Wanza (Kenya, pictured below, far left) and Fortunate Farirai (Zimbabwe, center right) took the reins, offering a glimpse into their experiences with professional mentors from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) company. Their packed agenda included an ERG/ENG Workshop at the PG&E office in Bishop Ranch, a substation tour, and online trainings along with ELs Sadaf Shah (Pakistan, center left) and Assel Zhamaleddinova (Kazakhstan, far right).
“One fascinating thing is how our mentors operate,” Esther remarked. “They have been able to bring all the ELs together where we can leverage our skills and this has enabled us to perform our duties while [being mentored]. We have been invited to daily operations meetings to meet other PG$E employees and learn from them. It’s just been 2 weeks and it feels like we have been here for a long time. Our mentors say it’s just the beginning!”
To cap off the week, EL Mahitab Elramel of Egypt (pictured below, center left) took custody of the TechWomen Instagram account to share her exploits in the field.
“Virtual professional mentoring doesn’t require us to spend the entire day at our computers; there are plenty of outdoor activities taking place as well,” she shared in her first post. “My [experience] on-site at the 3600-acre Lookout Slough Tidal habitat restoration project with Professional Mentors Dana Riggs, CEO of Sol Ecology, Inc., and Stephanie Freed, assistant director of operations at Ecosystem Investment Partners., was a privilege for me.”
“The California Department of Water Resources is carrying out the largest single tidal habitat restoration project to date in order to protect nearby infrastructure, provide additional flood storage and conveyance within the Yolo Bypass to lessen the likelihood of catastrophic flooding, and support habitat elements for native species,” Mahitab continued.
“My career as an expert in aquatic ecology for sustainability in wetlands mitigation and restoration, flood management, climate change adaptation, and ecological integrity restoration has advanced significantly as a result of this.”