In 2020, TechWomen marked over a decade of empowering global, emerging women leaders in STEM. Here we highlight the international impact and networks developed by TechWomen over more than 10 years in operation. Read on to learn about the contributions of our almost 1,200-strong mentors and business partners who have volunteered their time and resources to support, develop and exchange with our 1,000+ global Emerging Leaders (ELs) and fellows who have participated in the program since its inception.
Recent Impact Stories
TechWomen aims to empower, connect and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing them access and opportunity to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and become role models for women and girls in their communities. TechWomen supports the United States’ global commitment toward advancing the rights and participation of women and girls around the world by enabling them to reach their full potential in the tech industry.
Launched in 2011, TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program. TechWomen provides participants access to networks, resources and knowledge to empower them to reach their full potential.
Over the past decade, more than 1,000 women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe have participated in TechWomen.
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, South and Central Asia and the Middle East.
Programming focuses on expanding networks of women in STEM fields, creating and strengthening partnerships, encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers and ensuring the sustainability of mentor-fellow relationships.
Technology is the third largest economy in the world, yet women and ethnic minorities typically make up one quarter or less of tech workforces worldwide. TechWomen was launched by ECA in 2011 to connect women innovators and leaders in STEM from emerging global economies with U.S. tech leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area to inspire and promote multilateral positive impact and equity in the tech industry.
Administered by Institute of International Education (IIE), the inaugural year of TechWomen brought 37 Emerging Leaders (ELs) from six countries in the Middle East to Silicon Valley to connect with 32 tech mentors from 27 partner organizations for a combination of professional mentorship and cultural exchange activities designed to amplify the voices, skills and influence of women in tech.
Today, the program hosts over 100 Emerging Leaders from 21 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South Asia. They engage in mentorship and exchange with over 250 accomplished STEM industry mentors and 45+ partner companies, including Juniper Networks, LinkedIn, Autodesk, Synopsys and Twitter.
The TechWomen community is composed of Emerging Leaders (ELs), Fellows (alumnae), mentors, partner companies, staff and numerous stakeholders who all make this globally-impacting program possible.
The TechWomen journey starts with the selection of ELs, professional women working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields with demonstrated commitment to entrepreneurialism, innovation, and local impact in our program countries, currently represented by Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.
Once selected, these ELs are carefully connected with U.S. professionals in STEM in the form of volunteer Professional Mentors (PMs), Impact Coaches (ICs) and Cultural Mentors (CMs) who facilitate the ELs’ professional development, action planning and cultural exchange during their program period and beyond. Most of these experiences are heavily sponsored and supported by our 179 U.S. based partner companies, primarily concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area.
More than 1,200 volunteer Mentors and 1,000+ Emerging Leaders (ELs) and Fellows have participated in the program since its inception. Over the past decade, the impact of TechWomen can be seen in countless initiatives founded and amplified by Fellows of the program, including: eSTEM Morocco, a seed-granted TechWomen impact initiative (2014) that works to provide Moroccan girls and women with tools to pursue STEM careers; Girls Fly Program in Africa (GFPA), a non-profit organization that offers science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) programming for primary, high school and undergraduate youths with a focus on aviation and space; Tech4Impact, a non-governmental organization founded “to combine efforts and carry out activities in the development of innovations, information technologies, start-ups, human capital, green technologies, youth and women’s entrepreneurship in Uzbekistan and the Central Asian region,”; and Wentech, an initiative launched created to empower and inspire young girls in Cameroon to engage in engineering and technology. This is only a small representation of the power of TechWomen. Visit our Impact Map to explore the greater scope of TechWomen’s global reach.