It’s been just over a week since the Emerging Leaders of the Fall 2023 TechWomen cohort arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area and Chicago, where they immediately launched into a week of intensive workshops designed to prepare them for the three pillars of their program: professional mentorship, impact planning and cultural exchange.
Following their whirlwind arrivals and welcome orientations, Emerging Leaders met up online with the IIE team for a virtual Program Orientation on September 22. During this event they delved deeper into details of the five weeks to come. The IIE Team provided insights into the calendar of events, mentorship partnerships, and cultural engagement in the U.S. They also reemphasized the tools available to the Emerging Leaders, such as TechWomen Connect, a freshly launched, community application that serves as a networking platform, event booking and hosting space, and resource reserve.
That afternoon, Emerging Leaders from both cities continued on to their Cultural Workshops, where they had the opportunity to come together with their mentors for the first time since arriving.
At both Airbnb Headquarters in San Francisco and the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, Emerging Leaders and Mentors were introduced to Dr. Nancy Buchan and Dr. Wendi Adair of Intercultural Communications Edge (ICEdge), who led them through interactive workshops designed to help them identify and develop their cultural competency skills. This programming aimed to help TechWomen community members sharpen their understanding of cultural differences and engage in thoughtful, respectful dialogue, engagement and learning. Participants worked in small groups that represented the cultural diversity of the TechWomen community fostering meaningful interaction during the workshop.
After a day of rest and exploration, Emerging Leaders attended our Leadership Workshop, a first-of-its-kind simulcast hybrid event that was seamlessly hosted by our dedicated program partner Chime in their San Francisco and Chicago offices.
Throughout this full-day workshop led by TechWomen Mentor and Leadership Coach Samantha Raniere, Emerging Leaders collaborated with their country partners to assess personal and team strengths, engage in discussions about key aspects of leadership, and interact with female leaders from Chime during interactive roundtable sessions. This process involved identifying their individual strengths and inherent leadership qualities, culminating in the creation of personalized leadership plans.
The more you focus on what’s important to you and connect that to your individual stories, the more resilient you can be. You can tap into that as the source of your motivation.
To close out the events of welcome week, Emerging Leaders took part in our Ideation Workshop, hosted at Pacific Gas and Electric Company in the SF Bay Area and at TechNexus in Chicago. Facilitated by YSC Consulting, Emerging Leaders worked with their country teams to establish the foundation of their impact projects, learn about the framework of an impact project, and brainstorm strategies within their groups.
“The more you focus on what’s important to you and connect that to your individual stories, the more resilient you can be. You can tap into that as the source of your motivation,” YSC Coach Iris Cai shared during the workshop, which included visualization exercises, hands-on interactions, and the opportunity to for country teams to lay the foundations of their upcoming impact projects.
As the intense and inspiring events of Welcome Week came to a close, the Emerging Leaders took time to process their learnings and prepare themselves for their first days of Professional Mentorships, which would take place on Wednesday, September 27.