108 International Women Leaders in STEM to Connect with U.S. Mentors
One hundred and eight women leaders in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields from Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia will participate in the virtual TechWomen 2020-2021 exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Through mentorships with U.S. women leaders in STEM fields, the TechWomen participants (Emerging Leaders) will strengthen business ties and build stronger professional networks to advance their work and benefit their communities. As a result, participants will encourage more women and girls to pursue STEM careers.
Throughout the fall virtual program, which began in September 2020, the 108 Emerging Leaders are supported by over 70 members of the TechWomen community in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as 23 TechWomen program alumnae. For the month of October, Emerging Leaders learned about teaming for success, leadership, design thinking and impact models for change, in small groups based on shared professional interests. Facilitators, many of whom are TechWomen mentors, led participants through weekly discussions designed to encourage groups to relate the topics to their careers and professional lives. In November, Emerging Leaders will begin the action planning process, working with their country teams to identify an issue in their communities they are compelled to address and design an innovative and sustainable solution to the challenge. Emerging Leaders will be led through the action planning process by a coaching team comprising TechWomen community members from the San Francisco Bay Area and program alumnae. In addition, action plan teams in each TechWomen region will connect over three regional summits (Middle East and North Africa - MENA, South and Central Asia - SCA, Sub-Saharan Africa - SSA) in December 2020 that will allow them the opportunity to receive speed-mentoring and real‐time feedback on their proposed solution from other coaching teams.
In spring 2021, the Emerging Leaders will complete the action planning process with training on how to pitch their projects and will have an opportunity to win seed grant funding for their proposed projects. In addition, Emerging Leaders will also engage with host companies, from Silicon Valley, through a professional mentorship experience, and learn more about life in the San Francisco Bay Area and the United States through cultural exchange.