By Amy Juelsgaard, Program Associate
The 2016 TechWomen program has commenced. Nearly 90 women representing 19 countries from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East arrived in San Francisco on September 11 to begin the five-week program. During the first week of the program, also known as boot camp, the Emerging Leaders got a taste of San Francisco and Silicon Valley as they attended orientations and workshops at companies, such as Symantec and Yahoo.
Here’s a rundown of this year’s boot camp week.
Welcome Orientation at Symantec
Emerging Leaders jumped into boot camp week with a welcome orientation held at Symantec covering basic information related to living in the Bay Area. Topics included their health, transportation and safety. Symantec’s Chief Information Officer Sheila Jordan provided the keynote speech to the women on personal branding and marketing.
— Arezoo Riahi (@arezooriahi) September 12, 2016
Cultural Kickoff at Twitter
An evening truly dedicated to cultural exchange, each country cohort was given the opportunity to demonstrate their culture through slideshows, dance, music and traditional attire. Those in attendance included the mentor community, staff from the Institute of International Education and the State Department and other guests. Twitter’s Executive Chairman Omid Kordestani welcomed the community of Emerging Leaders and mentors to the company’s headquarters.
— Omid Kordestani (@omidkordestani) September 14, 2016
Program Orientation at Sunrun
At Sunrun, Emerging Leaders heard from Lynn Jurich, the company’s co-founder and CEO, who highlighted the importance of hard work and ethics. Throughout the day, they received an introduction to the action plan development, an overview of the professional and cultural mentorships, and our inaugural online portal. The TechWomen team organized a Q&A session to help the women learn about U.S. cultural norms. The event concluded with a panel of mentors who discussed how to make the most of the mentorship.
— TechWomen (@TechWomen) September 14, 2016
Action Plan I Workshop at Yahoo
Linkage Inc. presented topics, including women in leadership and design thinking to precede the brainstorming session for each country’s action plan. During this process, the country cohorts identified challenges in their home countries and built the foundation for their action plan to address socioeconomic challenges. The day ended with a tour of Yahoo’s offices led by Yahoo’s women engineers group.
— Briana Goldman (@BriGoldman) September 15, 2016
Impact Design Workshop at Autodesk
Numerous Autodesk staff volunteers welcomed the Emerging Leaders to their gallery and provided information and demonstrations on the company’s transformative software. Speakers, including Lynelle Cameron, CEO of the Autodesk Foundation, addressed the women on the impact of technology. The afternoon consisted of various workshops led by Autodesk personnel on topics varying from product design and 3D printing, to introduction to human centered design and inclusive leadership.
— Autodesk Impact (@AutodeskImpact) September 16, 2016
Golden Gate Bridge
The TechWomen team took the Emerging Leaders to the Golden Gate Bridge to show them one the region’s famous landmarks and officially welcome them to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Professional mentorships at 37 host companies in San Francisco and Silicon Valley began this week in addition to cultural activities ranging from Oracle’s OpenWorld conference to a hike in Marin County. Stay up to date on the program highlights through daily coverage on Twitter and Instagram.