TechWomen Promotes Opportunity and Diversity

BlogHer Original Post

TechWomen is hard to describe in just a few words. The purpose is to bring tech women from mostly Muslim countries to the Silicon Valley, where they work with female mentors from the tech industry. But it's more than that: it's an exchange of culture, technology, friendship, and knowledge that improves the lives of both the mentors and mentees.

mentee from Algeria
TechWomen Screen Capture from What is TechWomen

I'll let some of the women who have participated explain it.

TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It was formed under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's leadership. It is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE), and implemented in partnership with the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

A new group of mentees will arrive in San Francisco in September. The 2012 group has already been selected. BlogHer's Elisa Camahort Page is a member of the selection committee. She's worked with TechWomen for the past two years helping select leaders in technology from various countries who would benefit from a month with a Silicon Valley mentor.

There is still a need for mentors for this September. Women who would like to participate as either technological or cultural mentors can apply online. Professional mentors must be women working in technology fields in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cultural mentors are there to support the mentee’s personal growth and adjustment to living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In a situation like this, both the mentor and the mentee get a lot out of the exchange. Here's one pair talking about the program.

You can learn more at the TechWomen website. There's much more background information and facts there than what I'm giving you in this brief overview. You can also keep track of this program through their Facebook Page and Twitter.

There is a TechWomen blog at techwomenmena.wordpress.com where you can find articles such as TechWomen Mentees Reconnect at E-Mediat Networking Conference in Jordan and Eradicating the Booth Babe Phenomenon.

I would like to congratulate everyone involved in creating this wonderful program for women in tech, and everyone who participates as a mentor or mentee.

Virginia DeBolt, BlogHer Section Editor for Tech
virginia.debolt@blogher.com
Virginia blogs at Web Teacher and First 50 Words.

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