TechWomen’s mission is to empower, connect, and assist the next generation of female leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by allowing them to progress their professions, pursue their aspirations, and serve as role models for other women and girls in their communities. TechWomen backs the US government’s global commitment to promote the rights and participation of women and girls around the world by helping them to achieve their full potential in the tech industry.
How the program Works
TechWomen connects developing women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program. Participants in TechWomen gain access to networks, tools, and expertise that will help them achieve their greatest potential.
Participants participate in project-based mentorships at prominent organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, attend professional development seminars and networking events, and fly to Washington, DC for targeted meetings and special events at the end of the five-week program.
The Emerging Leaders are immersed in the dynamic, ever-changing culture of Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area from the minute they arrive. Emerging Leaders collaborate closely with their Professional Mentors to create significant projects while traveling throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with their Cultural Mentor and fellow program participants.
TechWomen Emerging Leaders will:
- Challenge themselves with new questions and concepts
- Collaborate with like-minded women in their fields on an innovative project
- Network with influential industry leaders
- Discover their own innovative leadership style
- Create meaningful friendships with women from all over the world
- Explore the diverse communities of the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
- Inspire the next generation of women and girls in their home countries
Each Emerging Leader is assigned a Professional Mentor who assists her in completing a project at the host company. Prior to her arrival in California, the participant maintains regular communication with her Professional Mentor. They collaborate to create an exciting project of mutual interest.
For four weeks, the Emerging Leader is hosted at the Mentor’s workplace four days a week. Throughout the mentorship, the Professional Mentor provides guidance and assistance. Seminars, workshops, tech presentations, and networking events are all part of the Emerging Leader’s professional enrichment programs.
The following costs are covered by the TechWomen program:
- Roundtrip international airfare from participant home country to the United States
- Domestic airfare from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.
- Housing in San Francisco or Sunnyvale, California during the mentorship period
- Meals and incidentals
- Hotel stay in Washington, D.C.
- Public transportation to the participant’s host company
- Local transportation to group program events in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, D.C.
Participants are responsible for the cost of any non program activities such as independent sightseeing and cultural events, as well as any non program-related domestic or international travel.
The following criteria are used to choose TechWomen participation. Independent selection committees of industry executives and regional specialists assess the applications. Semifinalists may be interviewed in their country of permanent residence by US Embassy employees.
- Be women with, at minimum, two years full-time professional experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Please note that internships and other unpaid work experience does not count toward the two-year professional experience requirement.
- Have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree/four-year university degree or equivalent.
- Be proficient in written and spoken English.
- Be citizens and permanent residents of Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe at the time of application and while participating in the program.
- Be eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa.
- Not have applied for an immigrant visa to the United States (other than the Diversity Immigrant Visa, also known as the “visa lottery”) in the past five years.
- Not hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. legal permanent resident.
Preference will be given to applicants who:
- Demonstrate themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen professional track through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities and education.
- Are committed to return to their home countries to share what they have learned and mentor women and girls.
- Have limited or no prior experience in the United States.
- Have a proven record of voluntary or public service in their communities.
- Have a demonstrated track record of entrepreneurialism and commitment to innovation.
- Demonstrate a willingness to participate in exchange programs, welcome opportunities for mentoring and new partnership development, and exhibit confidence and maturity.
TechWomen encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.
TechWomen application will close on 09:00AM PST (GMT-08:00), Wednesday, January 5, 2022. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application (non-select or semi-finalist) no later than April 30, 2022. Semi-finalists will be contacted for an in-country interview no later than April 2022. Final decisions will be made no later than May 31, 2022. All applicants will be notified of the results of their application.