By Edwina Dueñas, Communications Associate
A flock of TechWomen mentors and champions gathered at the headquarters of Twitter on Thursday to jump start the 2015 program. With the Emerging Leaders’ (ELs) arriving in less than two weeks, new and returning mentors gathered to connect and share advice.
After a welcome by Director Arezoo Riahi, Jack Dorsey, interim CEO, chairman and co-founder of Twitter, talked about his own mentorship experiences. Jack empowered the TechWomen community to turn to peers as a source for learning.
“We look to mentors as folks who are older and have more experience. But I look for people around me that I can learn from every single day,” Jack said. “Look around at folks you are mentoring as a way to learn and a way to be taught. It’s something we see on the platform every day.”
Twitter has been partnering with TechWomen since the program started in 2011— particularly the company’s Women in Engineering group. In addition to mentor support, Twitter has hosted numerous events, and the program would not be possible without these kinds of partnerships. In addition, as Arezoo aptly noted, “Twitter’s mission – which I love – is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” We hope TechWomen mentorships create similar global bridges to support the next generation of women leaders.
Twitter also organized a Q&A on the power of mentorship with Vice President of Engineering Nandini Ramani — who joined the TechWomen delegation trip to South Africa in January — moderated by Twitter’s Head of Mission Critical Engineering Jennifer Fraser, an alumna and 2015 Professional Mentor.
Nandini, who was the keynote speaker for the 2014 TechWomen Community Event, reflected on her experience empowering women and girls in STEM and remarked on her involvement with TechWomen.
“I enjoy being a steward of women. I have a personal vested interest in supporting women, being the mother of two daughters. Being a part of TechWomen is amazing,” Nandini said. Diversity is a huge priority for Twitter. We have so many programs supporting diversity, and Women in Engineering is one of them.”
She also spoke about her experience mentoring peers, and shared what makes the experience most gratifying her. “I feel like my most impactful mentorship experience is seeing little things you tell people make a difference – when you see things in people they don’t see in themselves.”
As a special surprise, mentors took in a 2015 Techwomen video, created by Julia Tang, a scholar for the Adobe Youth Voices Scholarship, managed by the Institute of International Education. Check out the video below to meet some of our 99 ELs.
With the event held at Twitter, mentors were ready to tweet all things #techwomen15, which was a top trend in San Francisco on Thursday evening. Below are a few highlights from last night, as tweeted by our community. Be sure to follow the hashtag in the coming weeks – the Emerging Leaders arrive in just nine days!
— Kelly Shalk (@kellyshalk) September 18, 2015
— Amy Truong (@amyt) September 18, 2015