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We are thrilled to be partnering with WEST (Women Entering and Staying in Tech) to launch a virtual mentoring program beginning in October 2018! WEST is run by a dedicated team of passionate humans that care deeply about addressing the attrition rate for women in tech which, as of a 2016 NCWIT report, is approximately 56% at the mid-level career stage. After working with companies and individuals who care deeply about supporting women in their tech careers, WEST has found a successful formula for building and maintaining meaningful relationships.
How it works
After you sign up, you’ll be matched in a curated and supported 6 month 1:1 mentoring experience. You will also have access to the Everwise mentorship platform for an additional six months once the cohort is over. If you’re a company looking to bring mentorship for a group of employees (both as mentors and mentees) you can learn more about sponsorship here!
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Find a Mentor
What a mentee looks like: Early to mid-career women in technical and tech-adjacent roles (Engineering, Operations, Product, Design, UX, Data Science, Project/Program Manager, and Web Development), looking to further their growth.
What a mentee receives:
- Advice and guidance from a mentor who’s “been there, done that”
- A safe space to work on self-identified focus areas and get career advice
- Increased professional confidence
- An unbiased, external sounding board
- Exposure to new ideas and new perspective
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Become a Mentor
What a mentor looks like: Mid- to late-career accomplished women & men in technical roles interested in supporting community members at an earlier stage in their careers.
What a mentor receives:
- An opportunity to gain leadership coaching skills
- Deepen your own skills by teaching others
- Personal satisfaction from helping others develop and grow their careers
- A new perspective and ideas that can lead to increased empathy with your own co-workers and teammates
- Expanded network beyond your company boundaries
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What is the time commitment?
You will meet 1 on 1 with a mentor for 6 months for about 1 hour a month. The partnership is mentee driven, so you will also likely spend extra time setting goals, setting the agenda for the meeting, and following up on action items or homework between meetings.
How does matching work?
The matching is facilitated by Everwise, WEST’s technology and delivery partner. Once you sign up on the WEST website you will be sent a WEST/Everwise registration link. You will complete an online assessment that asks about your background as well as what skills you’re interested in developing. After that is complete, you will have a phone assessment with an Everwise Experience Manager who will also talk with each potential mentor to ensure a good match is made. Role is one aspect of the match, but the skill area is more important than role and often the best matches are made with people from different roles. You can use the Experience Manager as a resource for articulating goals or if you have any concerns about your match.
How long would it take to get matched?
It could happen 2 weeks after the onboarding consultation or 2 months based on finding a compatible mentor.
Who are the mentors?
The mentors may come from one of various sponsor companies and we have volunteers from over 70+ companies in this program. The mentors are men and women in technical roles who are mid to late career. They are in a variety of individual contributor, managerial, and senior leadership roles.
How do you define “technical roles”?
We define it pretty broadly. Our mentees and mentors come from a variety of backgrounds including development, operations, IT, product management, technical program management, design, data science, data analysis, marketing operations, and sales engineering. Basically if you feel like you are pretty technical in your role, then you’re welcome to join WEST!
Do you mentor on technical topics?
We focus on more horizontal skill development such as career development, effective communication, leadership, influence, negotiation, personal brand, etc.
Any tips for getting my manager’s support and getting reimbursed?
A manager’s support while you’re in mentorship is very helpful. We encourage you to share your goals with them so they can check in with you and give you feedback to how they see those skills developing as a result of your mentorship. Here is an email template you can use to request their support for career development through WEST mentorship and to ask for reimbursement for the program.
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Why do mentors do this?
Typically mentors start this process to give back, but they quickly learn that this is a wonderful professional development opportunity for them personally. In fact, most mentors re-up and ask for another mentee after their first experience.
What are the benefits to the mentor?
Gain leadership coaching skills and personal satisfaction from helping develop others and having an impact on their career. Gain a new perspective from others who have different career experiences which can help build empathy for your own co-workers and teammates. Expand your network beyond your company boundaries.
Is prior mentoring experience required?
Prior experience as a mentor is not required. WEST’s technology and deliver partner Everwise has resources available for first-time mentors, both via online content as well as via the Experience Manager who facilitates the match and serves as a resource for both the mentee and the mentor.
Which companies are participating?
In addition to the sponsor companies (LinkedIn, Box, GoDaddy, Twilio, Gusto, Pandora, Intuit, Zendesk, Udemy, Survey Monkey, Twitch, Foursquare, BlueApron, and GoodReads), there are an additional 70+ companies who are represented in this program.
How do I register?
Sign up here and you’ll be guided through the process!
What is the time commitment?
1 hour every 3-4 weeks for 6 months
How does matching work?
Both the mentee and mentor fill out an online assessment. In the mentor’s case there are a series of questions to discover which areas you’re most comfortable mentoring on. After that, you’ll schedule an onboarding consultation with an Everwise Experience Manager. They meet with every participant to ensure the best possible match. Role is one aspect of the match, but the skill area is more important than role and often the best matches are made with people from different roles.
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