Tag Archives: Algeria

Honoring STEM Mentoring

ECR Simple Servant Award to Katy Dickinson 3 Nov 2017

At the 37th Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real annual convention last weekend, I was honored by Bishop Mary Grey-Reeves with a second Simple Servant Award for my work since 2010 with the TechWomen mentoring program of the US Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The award certificate reads:

Simple Servant Award
Presented on November 3, 2017 to
Katy Dickinson
The Diocese of El Camino Real honors you. May God bless you for your
faithful ministry mentoring women in Africa and the Middle East in STEM
professions, and for your contribution to the creation of a “virtuous cycle” of
knowledge and wisdom sharing in the world of technology.

It has been an honor and pleasure to work with TechWomen and my mentees from Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Watching this program thrive and touch so many lives is a great delight. Since I worked in 2010-2011 as the TechWomen Process Architect, I have been a volunteer with this life-changing program as a mentor, working with groups of STEM leaders who travel to the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley to be hosted by 122 science and technology companies and organizations for a month (and then continue a mentoring relationship once they have returned to their home country).

Beginning with the first cohort of 37 from 6 countries in 2011, there have been 518 TechWomen Fellows from 22 countries and 698 mentors. I have formally been assigned to mentor 14 women in Lebanon, Algeria, Gaza-Palestine, Jordan, and Tunisia – and have worked with many more who have asked me to be their mentor. I have also participated in nine formal TechWomen Delegations with the State Department, to: Jordan (twice), Kyrgyzstan, Morocco (twice), Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe, as well as making informal trips with TechWomen mentors to visit our mentees in Lebanon, Gaza-Palestine, and Sierra Leone.  Learning from my sister mentors as well as from my mentees is part of the joy and value of this excellent program for Citizen Diplomats.

Want to make a different in STEM? Please consider joining TechWomen as a mentor yourself!

ECR Convention Simple Servant award Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, Katy Dickinson 3 Nov 2017 by Elrond Lawrence

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Photo Copyright 2017 by the Diocese of El Camino Real, Elrond Lawrence.

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69 Certified Mentors – a Different Normality

Eileen Brewer 2015 Eileen Brewer
Director, Security Appliance Team, Symantec
Mountain View, California USA

As of today, Mentoring Standard has certified 69 mentors from 16 countries in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe and America. When I read down the Honor Roll, I am proud and honored to be working with such remarkable men and women.  I see in this developing community a shared commonality of excellence and generosity.  Since the first mentor was certified in August 2015,  69 have met the standard to be honored as Regular Mentors, and three have in addition been recognized as Advanced Mentors: Eileen Brewer (USA), Naira Ayrapetyan (Turkmenistan), and Dr. Kenza Khomsi (Morocco).   Mentoring Standard certifies mentors from around the world who can prove they hold within themselves the following 3 qualities:

  • Significant Mentoring History.
  • Good Reputation.
  • Respectable Professional Experience.
Naira Ayrapetyan 2015 Naira Ayrapetyan
Senior Maintenance Engineer, Petronas Carigali Turkmenistan, TechWomen 2015 Fellow
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

Every day’s news is full of a fractured, fighting, frightening world.  Yet, in the Honor Roll is a different normality: successful professionals from a vast diversity of demographics, profession, and geography who are not only learning and growing themselves but have spent years helping other people to achieve their goals and grow their careers.  Many of the Certified Mentors have been participants in the US State Department’s TechWomen program, or in the Sun Microsystems Engineering mentoring program called SEED, or they are friends or relations of mentors who were.  Half of the Certified Mentors are also TechWomen Fellows: 2011-2015 mentees of STEM leaders in the San Francisco Bay Area.  That is, these are women who came to the USA to be mentees but had already been mentors themselves for many years.

This is validation of the research presented in the Lifetime Value of Mentoring 2013 project: “…patterns from key [mentoring] programs show that successful mentees will go on to become mentors and many mentors serve over and over – in a variety of programs. Mentors also become Mentees as needed. Thus, disconnected programs may be informally in the same network because of having participants in common.”  I am still working on the first Mentoring Standard data report on the 2015 cohort of Certified Mentors.

Mentor Certification documents and celebrates your past and ongoing mentoring accomplishments – it does not require you to join a new mentoring program or take additional training. Ever consider becoming a Certified Mentor yourself?

Kenza Khomsi 2015 Dr. Kenza Khomsi
Meteorologist Engineer, Direction de la Météorologie Nationale, TechWomen 2015 Fellow
Casablanca, Morocco

A page from the Honor Roll

Mentoring Standard Honor Roll 2015

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TechWomen 2015 Winding Down

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We are enjoying the last bittersweet days with our dear 98 TechWomen mentors from 19 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. TechWomen participants enjoyed the Volunteer Day (tilling the soil at Veggielution in San Jose), and Community Celebration in San Francisco (hosted by Automattic), including seed grant awards presented to the six winners of the 22 October TechWomen Pitch Night presentations (hosted by Google):

  1. Team Nigeria’s “STEM in a Box” – this education project was also voted “Audience Favorite”
  2. Palestine’s “STEM Fem” – project to connect technical women to jobs
  3. Jordan’s “She Can Do It!” – focus on workforce training
  4. Egypt’s “She is Back” – project to re-employ women returning to workplace
  5. Kyrgyzstan’s “We Care” – project to improve healthcare
  6. Sierra Leone’s “Big Sisters” – to help orphans left by Ebola epidemic (collaborating with Families Without Borders

Today was the first of our visits to the US State Department – Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in Washington DC. Tomorrow is our most formal dress day, featuring lunch in the Benjamin Franklin State Dining Room.

During this term, Mentoring Standard has not only provided training for both TechWomen mentors and mentees but we have also been helping program participants to become Certified Mentors. My company’s Honor Roll of Certified Mentors is growing quickly! Several of the TechWomen Emerging Leaders are now working hard to finish their submissions before they return to their home countries. Busy days!

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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TechWomen Country Introductions

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The 98 TechWomen Emerging Leaders introduced themselves to us today at the Juniper Networks Aspiration Dome in Sunnyvale, California. Each of the 19 country groups had about five minutes to show a video, dance, sing their national anthem or perform a skit to tell us about their traditions and life. Most wore their national dress. They are all so beautiful and talented! We were welcomed by our staunch champion at the US State Department – Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Sheila Casey, were moved by a talk by Mitchell Baker (Executive Chairwoman, Mozilla), and even heard a video poem about women by Bulelwa Basse, the South African poet whom we met earlier this year. The day ended with our beloved IIE staff performing a medley of American dances as a gift in return.

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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First Day with TechWomen 2015 Emerging Leaders – South Bay

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99 TechWomen Emerging Leaders have arrived in the San Francisco Bay Area from 19 countries. I am one of the Cultural Mentors working with the South Bay contingent. Erin Keeley and I spent time after their orientation today – giving a tour of the CalTrain and VTA Light Rail Stations, going to lunch, and going to the market to stock the kitchens in their apartments. Hanging out with amazingly smart and capable technical women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe is such a delight!

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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Organizing TechWomen Mentors, South Bay Activities

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The TechWomen mentoring program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is looking forward to welcoming 99 Emerging Leaders from 19 countries to the Silicon Valley next month.  I am honored to be the Lead for the Cultural Mentors – South Bay – Arts & Culture group, working with experienced TechWomen mentors Megan Dean Farah, Lori Kahn, Rochelle Kopp, and Shannon McElyea. Arezoo Miot (TechWomen Director) and Jillian Scott (TechWomen Program Manager) of IIE – San Francisco lead the South Bay Cultural Mentors’ orientation meeting yesterday, generously hosted by Flipboard in Palo Alto.

Our Arts & Culture team will work with about fifty of the ELs who are staying in Mountain View – coming to us from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe. The ELs are still in the process of being matched with their Professional Mentors and companies. 91 companies in the San Francisco Bay Area have hosted ELs since 2011.  They arrive at the end of September and will be in the US for about six weeks.

Our team will be considering events and activities throughout the Bay Area.  However, since we all live in the South Bay, we have been collaborating to create a list of options closer to home – to reduce transportation management and traffic time. Here is our list so far – for discussion.  We will only pick a small number of these for the whole South Bay EL group to enjoy!

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Pictures Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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TechWomen 2015, Mentoring Standard, Notable Technical Women, Wikipedia

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TechWomen 2015:  The TechWomen 2015 year has started! Professional and Cultural mentors for the 99 Emerging Leaders from 19 countries who will participate in the five-week program are being notified of acceptances. I have been honored to be selected as a Cultural Mentor for the South Bay Area in the Arts & Culture group. I am looking forward to working with Emerging Leaders and other mentors in the Silicon Valley. Since 2011, 156 women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Yemen, and Zimbabwe have participated. The 2015 TechWomen program will expand to include women from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

This year, my company Mentoring Standard will be offering training and certification for TechWomen mentors. Our Team is now developing those materials. We are very much looking forward to supporting this outstanding program of citizen diplomacy by the US Department of State – Bureau of Educational Cultural Affairs.

Notable Technical Women: The Notable Technical Women project by Jessica Dickinson Goodman (California Department of Justice), Dr. Susan Rodger (Duke University), and me is also thriving: Jessica just placed a big re-order of the Notable Women in Computing card decks and posters, and the TechWomen cards and posters continue to sell steadily. TechWomen Director Arezoo Miot is pictured above with the TechWomen poster in her Institute of International Education office in San Francisco.

Want to write for Wikipedia? We welcome corrections and additions to information on the Notable Technical Women materials. Since the first printing in November 2014, eight honorees have had new Wikipedia biographies written (or we found pages about them): Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza, Laurie Hendren, Kathleen McKeown, Betty Snyder (aka Betty Holberton), Valerie Taylor, Marlyn Wescoff (aka Marilyn Meltzer), Linda Petzold, and Lixia Zhang. There are only six Notable Technical Women honorees left (out of the 54 honorees) who need biographies written: Anuradha Annaswamy, Chieko Asakawa, Qiheng Hu, Yuqing Gao, Lila Ibrahim, and Sophie Vandebroek. We update the cards as possible between printings.

IMG_3698 Just-printed posters – July 2015
IMG_7833 Susan, Jessica, and Katy – June 2015

Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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