Microsoft and women’s mentorship organisation, Wentors, have announced a commitment to mentor and train 1,000 women in tech aiming to bridge the gender diversity gap.
Microsoft Women in Tech Mentorship Program
To help conduct the program, Microsoft is working hand in hand with Wentors. A global community of women in technology mentoring and nurturing each other.
In this platform, women with experience in tech mentor upcoming young women joining the industry. This also includes those in their student final year, looking to start a technology career.
Microsoft 4Afrika employee, EduAbasi Chukwunweike is the founder of the project. According to the United Nations Institute of Statistics (UIS), less than 30 per cent of the world’s researchers are women.
Studies show that women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields publish less and are paid less for their research. In most cases, they do not progress as far as men in their careers.
Thus her main aim is to bridge this gap and make an impact on gender diversity in the technology industry.
“We believe the people best situated to nurture these dreams are the women currently in technology. Hence we are redeﬁning the mentorship roadmap by building a global community of women in technology who nurture each other,” says Chukwunweike.
The organisation runs Cohorts programmes consisting of,
- Eight to 12-week periods during which each mentor commits to an hour-long weekly session with her mentee.
- Weekly themes that provide the mentors with mentorship packages to guide them through the process.
- Soft skills training and webinars in areas such as personal branding, networking, communication and imposter syndrome.
The programmes are all virtual. This then lets a global audience to participate. This also means that the program can leverage AI algorithms to match mentors with mentees, and a mentoring framework with a set number of sessions.
It also gives room for continuous feedback between mentors and mentees and progress measurement. The organisation uses Microsoft’s Office 365 and hosts all its training and webinars using Teams.
According to Microsoft, The goal of this training is to provide women entering the tech industry with the skills necessary to thrive and sustain a career within the tech ecosystem. The Wentors community grants its participants access to expertise crucial for career progression.
To date, the initiative has facilitated mentorship among 240 women across four continents. They also hold a community of over 900 members through a partnership with different communities and tech companies.
“Our ultimate goal is to have women in technology make up 50% across all positions in the IT industry. This amounts to impacting the lives of eight million women globally. It is evident by the significant investments into skills development and educational programmes that Microsoft believes in upskilling our youth.