Tag Archives: Rwanda

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.

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IMG_7833 Susan, Jessica, and Katy – June 2015

Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Become a Mentor with TechWomen!

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The Mentor Application for the 2015 TechWomen is now open!

I have been working with the TechWomen program since 2010 and I highly recommend it as a life-changing and exceptionally rewarding professional and personal experience!  These photos are of TechWomen mentees and friends from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Algeria – some of the most impressive and capable women I know!

Apply by July 19th for priority consideration.

Professional Mentor Application

Eligibility Requirements

Professional Mentor applicants must be

  • Women working in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Able to host an Emerging Leader at their company’s site.
  • Able to coach the Emerging Leader on the project four days per week for four weeks in October 2015.

Learn more about the Professional Mentor role.

Cultural Mentor Application

Eligibility Requirements

Cultural Mentors applicants must be

  • Women living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Willing to coordinate within a group to foster relationships and plan activities of interest to their respective Emerging Leaders.
  • Excited about serving as a cultural ambassador and showcasing all the Bay Area has to offer.
  • Willing to help Emerging Leaders navigate logistical challenges as they settle into life in the Bay Area.

Learn more about the Cultural Mentor role.

TechWomen Mission

The mission of TechWomen is to empower, connect, and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by providing them access and opportunity to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and become role models for women and girls in their communities.

How TechWomen Does It

TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from Africa and the Middle East together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program. TechWomen provides participants access to networks, resources, and knowledge to empower them to reach their full potential.

During the five-week program, participants engage in project-based mentorships at leading companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, participate in professional development workshops and networking events, and travel to Washington, D.C. for targeted meetings and special events to conclude the program.

Over the past three years, 156 women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia, Yemen, and Zimbabwe have participated in TechWomen. The 2015 program will expand to include women from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Mentoring Across the World

The TechWomen experience doesn’t end in California or Washington, D.C. After the program, Emerging Leaders and Mentors have the opportunity to reconnect during delegation trips to program countries in Africa and the Middle East. Programming focuses on expanding networks of women in the STEM fields, creating and strengthening partnerships, encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers, and ensuring the sustainability of Mentor-Emerging Leader relationships.

TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). TechWomen, launched in 2011, supports the United States’ global commitment toward advancing the rights and participation of women and girls around the world by enabling them to reach their full potential in the tech industry.

TechWomen is managed by the Center for Women’s Leadership Initiatives (WLI) at the Institute of International Education ® (IIE).

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Images Copyright Katy Dickinson 2012-2015

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Touring with TechWomen Tunisia Delegation

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This week, I am a member of a TechWomen Delegation for the sixth time – having been on every delegation since the program started. It has been my honor and pleasure to visit Emerging Leaders in Morocco (2011), Jordan (2013 – with a side trip to Lebanon), Rwanda (2014), Morocco (2014), South Africa (2015), and now, Tunisia. As always, we travel with a U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs representative, in addition to Institute of International Education (IIE) staff. I begin my ten days in Tunisia with local tours, both informal and formal, to provide cultural context. Last weekend, we visited:

Dougga
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Sidi Bou Said
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North African American Cemetery and Memorial
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Carthage
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Bardo Museum
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Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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Crafts in South Africa

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During the January 2015 TechWomen mentoring program Delegation to South Africa, I was able to see (and buy!) many remarkable crafts. Even though I try to buy directly from the craft workers (rather than from brokers), or at least buy local rather than imported goods if possible, within Africa craft sales are quietly international. Some of the crafts for sale in Cape Town were clearly imported from Kenya and Rwanda (confirmed by the shop keepers) but I also realized that a wood carving I purchased in May 2014 in Ethiopia was probably from South Africa. All of the cloth I purchased in Rwanda last year was from Congo, and the cloth I purchased last month in South Africa was from Zimbabwe (again, confirmed by the shop keepers).

The most remarkable crafts I saw in South Africa involved glass beads: jewelry, pottery with beads, bead and wire animals. Some notable craft sources:

  • Arts on Main in Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg – a location for dozens of small craft shops and food stalls in an old warehouse, including a very creative photo vendor called iwasshot in joburg – “a platform for former street children to learn skills and generate an income”
  • Streetwires in Cape Town – first rate creativity and execution in a wide variety of designs.  I liked the animals and angels best!
  • TheBarn incubator and community center (in Khayelitsha, Cape Town) – featuring several small craft shops, including the work of notable potter Martin Mayongo whose beaded raku ware pottery is superb.
  • MzansiStore – a popup store inside of a hotel in Cape Town
  • Greenmarket Square, Cape Town – a location for dozens of small craft stalls under awnings outside, some staffed by craft workers but most run by brokers

If you don’t have much time to shop, the Out of Africa store in the Johannesburg airport has a good selection.  Pictures from my craft hunting:
guineafowl, hoopoe glass bead and wire from Streetwires, Cape Town South Africa

Streetwires, Cape Town South Africa

Streetwires, Cape Town South Africa

Martin Mayongo pots with beads, TheBarn,  Khayelitsha, Cape Town South Africa . Martin Mayongo plate with beads, TheBarn,  Khayelitsha, Cape Town South Africa

TheBarn,  Khayelitsha, Cape Town South Africa

beadwork jewelry bought at Greenmarket Square and TheBarn,  Khayelitsha, Cape Town South Africa

beadwork jewelry bought at Greenmarket Square Cape Town South Africa

cloth from Zimbabwe, bought at Greenmarket Square Cape Town South Africa . tablecloth from Zimbabwe, bought at Greenmarket Square Cape Town South Africa

Greenmarket Square Cape Town South Africa

Greenmarket Square Cape Town South Africa

bead and wire kudu head from Greenmarket Square Cape Town South Africa

MzansiStore craftworkers and TechWomen, Cape Town South Africa

Out of Africa store in the Johannesburg airport
Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson

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108 Technical Role Models and Mentors

As of January 2015, these cards and posters are available for sale on Notable Technical Women.

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I am proud to present 108 role models and mentors.  Each of these technical women has earned her place through remarkable accomplishments and experience:

You may know that after selling out the first edition of Notable Women playing cards at the Hopper Conference, Dr. Susan Rodger (Computer Science, Duke University), Jessica Dickinson Goodman, and I created the Notable Women in Computing Kickstarter, which was crowd funded by generous backers at five times our original asking. Since then, Jessica has ably managed our production and shipping. Card decks and posters shipped last month to not only our backers but also to 500 educators around the world (USA, Netherlands, Scotland, Nigeria, Lebanon, New Zealand, India…). We are now getting many photos of the cards and posters “in the wild” from teachers and schools, companies, and even from honorees. Susan and Jessica and I are discussing our next steps for the project, since we are still getting new requests for decks and posters. Jessica is setting up an ecommerce site for future purchases and new customers. More news on that soon…

“Notable Women in Computing” has also inspired many daughter projects – including the “TechWomen Emerging Leaders” poster and card decks (for which Jessica was also the designer!) – now in production to go to South Africa for the TechWomen Delegation next week.

A role model is a person whose behavior, example, or success is emulated by others, especially by younger people. That is, a role model can inspire without ever communicating directly with the person whose life they have touched. Mentors, on the other hand, advise and inspire directly. In short, practical terms:

  • Mentors make introductions.
  • Mentors give recommendations to resources.
  • Mentors give feedback for the mentee to consider.

I am lucky to know many of the 108 women honored here personally. My respect for this group could not be higher. Most of the “Notable Women in Computing” group have been role models and mentors to generations of students and rising professionals. When I have served on the selection committees for TechWomen Emerging Leaders, one of the most common hopes I read in their application essays is for an opportunity to give back to their community and to help girls learn to use and love technology.  I have also heard this aspiration over and over from my own amazing TechWomen mentees.

Please help spread the news of these amazing technical leaders.   In August 2013, I wrote about Getting Beyond Marie Curie – developing information and awareness about other great women tole models. Here are 108.

Both Posters: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 U.S. License

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