…and we have the numbers to prove it

written by Renu Asuti

WEST completed another successful year of fostering & promoting mentorship for our wonderful community of women in technology in 2018.

You hear it all the time, get yourself a mentor. But how? Our mission at WEST (Women Entering and Staying in Tech) is to help with just that. Partnering with our wonderful program sponsors and Everwise, we connect early career women with mentors in the industry by looking at common career interests & goals.

We launched 2 cohorts in 2018 where the mentorship focus areas included topics such as Career Planning, Communications, Personal Brand, Setting Vision & Direction, and Executive Presence.

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We had 77 completed partnerships across the WEST community with 92% of our program participants satisfied with their matched mentor. Mentors are men and women in various technical roles from across the industry, and most importantly from a different company than their mentee. An additional 37 new partnerships were launched in October 2018.

It was nice having someone outside of my organization in a senior level position give me feedback on situations at work and deliverables. I learned a lot about setting strategy, communicating a vision to upper management, and career development.
The 3rd party access is really valuable and significant. I wouldn’t have these conversations with people internally, and I’m able to get my thoughts out without judgment.

An engagement manager from Everwise kicks off the partnership between mentor and mentee and makes sure both are aligned on goals for the partnership. Mid point check-ins also ensure mentorship momentum continues.

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90% of participants indicated that they made significant progress towards their goals with the guidance of a mentor. 85% would recommend WEST to others.

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the WEST mentorship program. Meetings were valuable. This will be an ongoing journey for self development and I am glad I got connected with my mentor through the program.
I would say I now have a better understanding of who my colleagues and upper leadership are & how I might be able to support them. I know how to ask for what I need and want.
Around executive presence — she challenged me to take a step and take action. She’s helping me prepare for when an opportunity is presented. This mentoring program helped me to act on my plans.

While great mentorship is invaluable for mentees; mentors find a lot of value too. Mentors in the WEST community are able to further leverage their leadership skills while continuing to learn and make an impact in their company and in the broader community.

Each time I mentor somebody it gives me a different perspective. It also makes me a better listener.
I am learning how to frame conversations with my female employees. I took this on as a stretch challenge and had a lot of my (inaccurate) preconceptions challenged.

Thank you to all of our WEST sponsors for investing in career development for their women in tech. Our sponsors also give support across the industry by nominating men and women to be WEST mentors.

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As we head into 2019 recharged and ready to create more mentorship opportunities, it’s been rewarding to see that the numbers don’t lie. Mentorship is invaluable for engaging and retaining women in tech, allowing us to sustain an inclusive tech industry.

Support women in tech through WEST mentorship today!