Our work would not be possible without the contributions of the TechWomen Mentors. Their passionate support and commitment to our mission of empowering, connecting, and supporting the next generation of women leaders in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields make this program truly special and unique. In addition to providing the Emerging Leaders access to networks, resources, and knowledge, the TechWomen Mentors serve as role models who encourage the Emerging Leaders, challenging them to think outside of the box and inspiring them to reach their full potential.
Who are these remarkable women? Here are eleven things you may not have known about the TechWomen Mentors.
1. They are volunteers.
Time is a valuable commodity that we never seem to have enough of, and balancing life at work with life outside of work can be challenging. Regardless, these women somehow manage to juggle their careers, families, and hobbies and still find the time to volunteer on the program and mentor Emerging Leaders. Who says we can’t have it all?
2. They are incredibly diverse.
TechWomen Mentors are drawn to the program for various reasons and come from all walks of life. With their varied interests, aspirations, backgrounds, areas of expertise, education, and professional experience, they are as diverse as the San Francisco Bay Area itself.
3. They are a community of 250 strong.
In addition to the growing community of TechWomen Emerging Leaders in Africa and the Middle East, the TechWomen Mentors living and working in the Bay Area form a robust network of women in STEM empowering each other to succeed. Supporting one another both personally and professionally, the relationships they forge continue to thrive long after the program ends.
4. They have an integral role in the selection process.
TechWomen Mentors volunteer to serve on the independent selection committees that review Emerging Leader applications. As industry leaders and participants of the TechWomen experience, their input is invaluable in helping us identify the candidates most likely to succeed on the program, benefit from the mentorship, and impact the lives of women and girls in their home countries.
5. They help Emerging Leaders grow and thrive professionally.
During the four-week professional mentorships at leading Bay Area companies, TechWomen Mentors collaborate closely with Emerging Leaders on mutually beneficial projects, providing daily guidance and feedback. They also share advice, lessons learned, and personal experiences with the Emerging Leaders and introduce them to key influencers and colleagues within the host company.
6. They are cultural ambassadors.
TechWomen Mentors help Emerging Leaders adjust to life in the Bay Area. They also facilitate cultural enrichment activities to deepen mutual understanding and help Emerging Leaders make the most of their time in the United States. Together, Mentors and Emerging Leaders visit local attractions, art exhibits, sporting events, and local universities, among other things.
7. Their involvement in the program extends beyond mentorship.
Mentors have the opportunity to attend many of the TechWomen events and are invited to give keynotes, serve on panels, and lead discussions. Mentors also volunteer to serve on TechWomen advisory committees, helping drive workshop content, design events, and explore ways to grow and improve the program.
8. They travel to Washington, DC with the Emerging Leaders.
They have the opportunity to travel to the nation’s capital at the end of the program to meet with officials at the U.S. Department of State. During their visit to Washington, DC last fall, the TechWomen attended a private reception with Dr. Jill Biden (American educator and wife of Vice President Joe Biden) and a luncheon with Lee Satterfield, Evan Ryan, and Dee Dee Myers.
9. They travel to Africa and the Middle East.
The TechWomen experience doesn’t end in California or Washington, DC. After the program, Emerging Leaders and Mentors have the opportunity to reconnect during delegation trips to program countries in Africa and the Middle East, where they expand their professional networks and encourage women and girls to pursue opportunities in the STEM fields. In 2014, TechWomen Mentors, Emerging Leaders, and staff traveled to Rwanda and Morocco alongside representatives from the U.S. Department of State.
10. They stay in touch with the Emerging Leaders.
From monthly emails to weekly Skype calls and social media updates, TechWomen Mentors continue to engage with the Emerging Leaders after the program. They exchange career advice, collaborate on projects, and share exciting news about their lives – proof that Mentor-Emerging Leader relationships are built to last.
11. They also benefit from the mentorships.
Mentorship is a two-way street. TechWomen Mentors are passionate about paying it forward and inspiring the next generation, but many remark that what they gain in return far exceeds their expectations. In addition to the networks, support, and opportunities they gain access to through the TechWomen program, the feeling of fulfillment that comes from helping other women succeed and making a positive impact on the lives of women and girls across the globe is a gift that is extraordinarily satisfying and empowering.
Are you interested in becoming a TechWomen Mentor and joining the growing community of TechWomen worldwide? The Professional Mentor application opens on June 10!