Time has sped by as the TechWomen emerging leaders and mentors mark their calendar at the halfway point of the historic Fall 2022 hybrid program. The second full week of the 5-week initiative started with the Action Plan Workshop 1, hosted by partner Chime, and ended with an engaging networking reception with emerging leaders and impact coaches at the Autodesk Gallery.
The action plan is a cornerstone of the TechWomen program. As the first in a series of three, Action Plan Workshop 1 builds the foundation for the action planning process. With facilitation from Lizzette Lima and Erica Meyers Rivera of YSC Consulting of Accenture, this session provided emerging leaders with the framework for designing a solution to a socioeconomic challenge with a focus on brainstorming and selecting an issue to address. All of this was only made possible with the help of mentor Beth Steinberg and the many Chime volunteers who supported the event, including former TechWomen program coordinator Andrew Udeshi.
“We didn’t know each other going into this. The TechWomen program brought us together, each from a different region. And now through this process today we are, together, Team South Africa,” shared emerging leader Reevana Balmahoon at the close of the workshop.
Throughout the week, emerging leaders and mentors balanced priorities between action planning and professional mentorships, which saw emerging leaders working on their customized professionals goals and networking through field visits, lab walk-throughs, office sessions and virtual working.
“It was a privilege to spend my first onsite professional mentorship program of TechWomen fellowship at the 3600 acre Lookout Slough Tidal habitat restoration project with the professional mentor Dana Riggs the CEO of Sol Ecology, Inc. and Stephanie Freed the assistant director of operations at Ecosystem Investment Partners,” shared emerging leader Mahitab Elramal of Egypt.
To close out the week, emerging leaders and impact coaches had the unique opportunity to freely explore the state-of-the-art Autodesk Gallery in downtown San Francisco during a networking reception hosted and sponsored by TechWomen partner Autodesk Software and Services, an experience facilitated by Partner Success Manager Bobbie Casey with the help of gallery hosts and volunteers.
Emerging Leaders wandered through the gallery experimenting with its innovate and hands-on interactive displays and connecting with other attendees. Three categories of innovative models and samples were present: New Realities, Next Breakthroughs and Thriving Futures. “The New Realities include projects using software available today,” explained Brand Engagement Manager Christina Fisher during the event opening. “Next Breakthroughs rely heavily on our customer partnerships. And Thriving Futures represent experimental visions of things to come.”
Keynote remarks were provided by VP of Engineering Susanna Holt who offered insights into the power of organic career growth: “We often advise people early in their careers to have a plan, know where you’re going and then just go for it. I never did that. I drifted a bit and it has worked out well for me. I’m a VP now and I’m really proud of myself. And I didn’t do it by going in a straight line.”
This sentiment aligns closely with the heart of the TechWomen program, which encourages and makes space for our emerging leaders to explore interests beyond their current areas of expertise during their professional mentorship experiences.