In Spotlights

This May we’re focusing on TechWomen, a professional mentorship and exchange program created to enabletechnical women from the Middle East and North Africa to reach their full potential. Based in San Francisco, TechWomen connects and supports the next generation of women in technology sectors by providing them the access and opportunity needed to pursue careers in technology. Formed under Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s leadership, TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). The Department of State is partnering with the Institute of International Education (IIE) and the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology to implement this initiative.

Currently, TechWomen is seeking women in the San Francisco Bay Area to serve as Professional and Cultural Mentors to the 2012 group of TechWomen Mentees from the Middle East and North Africa. Harnessing the power of business, technology and innovation, TechWomen brings emerging women leaders, many working in the sustainability and environmental fields, together with their U.S. counterparts for a professional mentorship and exchange program in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the greater Bay Area.

The TechWomen program is based on a framework supported by two types of Mentors: Professional and Cultural. Professional Mentors are women who work in technology fields in the San Francisco Bay Area and host Mentees at their companies. Professional Mentors coach Mentees on projects of mutual benefit for the Mentee and host company. Many 2012 TechWomen finalists have technical expertise related to environmental development, such as organic agriculture, sustainable water management, renewable technology, and biodiversity. Mentors and Mentees develop an engaging and relevant project together prior to the Mentee’s arrival in the U.S.

Cultural Mentors also live and work in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mentees are matched with Cultural Mentors based on common interests to facilitate opportunities for mutual understanding. Mentee-Mentor pairs participate in activities together such as neighborhood festivals, sightseeing trips, shopping, family dinners, book readings, professional networking and enrichment, art exhibits, dance performances and community service opportunities.
One Cultural Mentor had the following to say: “The TechWomen experience was truly fulfilling, rewarding, and inspiring for me particularly because we all got an opportunity to contribute and learn from each other. This program has not only opened our minds to world but also out hearts. We have formed lasting relationships with the Mentors and Mentees in the program.”

If you are interested in fostering the next generation of women leaders from the Middle East and North Africa, apply now! Questions? Please contact TechWomen at or (415) 362-6520 Ext. 207.

Read more on the TechWomen website at: