Based on tech workforce trends it has become increasingly evident that diversity is integral to developing balance in the STEM industries. Diverse teams are more innovative and perform better financially and right now, women represent less than a quarter of engineers in most tech companies.

There are multiple organizations initiated by and for women which help them educate, empower, and foray into the world of tech. Girl Develop ItHackbright AcademyBlack Girls CodeGirls Who CodeWomen in TechLesbians Who Tech are some of the many wonderful groups who are working towards transforming the industry.

Recently we have launched a learning community for women in tech: WEST(Women Entering and Staying in Tech). WEST believes that by providing more direct support, advocacy, and community development across company boundaries, we can help more women build rewarding careers in tech and increase the number of women representing the mid-level and senior-level job profiles. There is a huge opportunity to impact change by becoming a mentor. Mentoring has been identified as an effective practice to increase the representation of women in tech.

We strive to build a pipeline of mentors and mentees upon a talented community where women can develop, learn and grow. Professionals in technical roles (men and women!) will serve as 1:1 mentors to a class of women in the early to middle-stages of their careers. These early and mid-career women engage in a 6-month partnership with their mentor to support their growth and development in their technical career.

WEST sponsors for our first cohort are leading tech companies committed to diversity in tech. The WEST mentorship program is being jointly supported by Box,  Everwise,  LinkedIn,  GoDaddy,  Twilio, Gusto, Intuit, and Pandora. Our next cohort will launch in mid June and our sponsors include TwitchZendeskSurveyMonkey, Udemy, and Foursquare.

As a mentor you will have an opportunity to coach, guide and help other women based on your experiences and learnings. There is so much intrinsic value in always giving more than you take. Invest in the future. Sign up at joinwest.org to Be A Mentor!