Women leave the tech industry at a 45% higher rate than men, and women are leaving technical roles in the mid-point of their careers at a much higher rate than men. But why is that?

A study of 4,000 women who had recently changed jobs found that the #1 reason women leave companies is because of “a concern for the lack of advancement opportunity.”

WEST's mission is to help more women enter & flourish in technical roles by connecting them with 1:1 mentorships and focusing on  topics such as career planning, personal brand, creative/innovative thinking, communications, and influence to further their careers. Our goal is to arm women with guidance and mentorship from experienced professionals to help them acquire new skills to help them take on new opportunities and challenges to further their careers, and stay in tech.

“Workplace conditions, a lack of access to key creative roles, and a sense of feeling stalled” are the main reasons women leave tech. (Source: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/why-is-silicon-valley-so-awful-to-women/517788/)

How well did we do?

This year, WEST closed out 2017 with 146 mentoring partnerships, coming from over 70 tech companies. Our participants told us at the beginning that although they consider themselves ambitious and want to stay in tech, 15% didn’t believe they would advance in tech and only 60% felt informed about career options in tech.

  • After one year, 80% of our cohort that responded to our survey now feel informed about career options in tech, and of the survey respondents, 82% of WEST mentees report they are making significant progress against their goals.
  • 18% have mentioned that WEST has helped them receive a promotion or their desired job.
  • 2 out of 3 have stated that WEST has exposed them to senior colleagues.
  • 100% feel more prepared to navigate their career in tech.

Additionally, mentees’ behavior change is being noticed by leadership and colleagues.

“[Mentor] had good advice, especially about leadership which was one of my goals and I was able to make a lot of progress in that area because of her.”
“One of my goals this year was to build executive presence by getting more public speaking experience. Through the course of the WEST program, with guidance on goal-setting from my mentor, I spoke at three local meetups, two conferences in the US, and three conferences internationally.”
“I got so much out of this program with my mentor. I had plenty of good steps to take toward my goals and made several great strides forward.”

Beyond that, mentees had a 9.2/10 satisfaction rating for their mentor match, and 8.9/10 rating of likelihood to recommend WEST to their colleagues.

Mentors have some things to say as well:

“I have an appreciation for the challenges that women in tech face. Being a manager, I have a renewed appreciation for people who are capable and don’t flaunt it. Fairness is top of mind and being able to elevate the people who need assistance speaking up.”
“I tell most people that if they are a manager mentoring gives the opportunity to practice active listening without the formal responsibility. I also get to have a positive impact and gain a network of people to communicate with and re-evaluate skills.”
“It’s good to see what it is like for someone who is personally developing – something for me to think about with my directs.”

Interested in finding out more? Click here to view the full 2017 report. 

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