Women tend to be sparsely represented in the upper ranks of a typical American technology company. Even though women are currently graduating from college at a higher rate than men, there are fewer women in engineering and computer science than one might think. Women that are working in those fields hold only 20 percent of all undergraduate degrees. Because of those small numbers, it can be difficult for a young woman working in a technology field to find a role model that can help her attain her career goals. Technology companies are missing out on great talent and women aren’t experiencing the satisfaction in their careers that they could if they had a mentor.
Many leading technology firms have found that proactively encouraging their top level female employees to mentor young women in technology gives their own organization a boost. They retain great employees longer and the entire structure of the company benefits. Mentoring for women helps new employees understand company culture and integrate into the organization faster.
The overall demand for IT professionals with advanced degrees is growing rapidly and doesn’t show signs of letting up in the future. Companies that can recruit, train and retain talented employees have a competitive edge. Mentoring offers a means by which to obtain those goals.
Techwoman is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. They have a successful mentorship program that is rooted in San Francisco. Their next session will take place in October 2013. A successful professional woman employed in the technology field in the San Francisco Bay area can be a professional or cultural mentor to an Emerging Leader.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) offers a program called Mentor-Protege that helps women learn how to reach their career goals in the technology field. The program takes place in Washington DC.
For more information on how mentoring benefits all parties involved, please contact us.