A group of TechWomen mentors, Fellows, and friends have been traveling together in Israel and Palestine this week – between the official TechWomen Jordan and Zimbabwe delegations. We started with a tour of Jerusalem, Masada, and Jesus’ Baptism site on the Jordan River among other inspiring and historic locations. We spent two days in Gaza City as guests of Mercy Corps working with Gaza Sky Geeks, making presentations on mentoring, design thinking, venture investments, and crowd funding to audiences of up to 125 – mostly women. We met with the leadership of the Al Ahli Arab Hospital, Gaza.
We then spent two days in the West Bank – presenting at HCIE (the Higher Council for Innovation and Excellence) in Ramallah, and at PPU (Palestine Polytechnic University) in Hebron. We even got to see the Cave of the Patriarchs – the mosque above the tombs of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah. Today, we will be walking around the Bethlehem area with our TechWomen Fellows.
It has been a pleasure to travel with my daughter Jessica, Eileen Brewer, Erin Keeley, and Aliya Janjua. We have been given overwhelmingly generous and loving support by so many of our mentees, including Mai Temraz, Maysoun Ibrahim, Ibeer Imtair, Nadiah Saba’neh, and Sandra Al-Arja. What an amazing and thought-provoking trip this has been so far! Tonight, we fly to Zimbabwe.
Photos Copyright 2016 by Katy Dickinson
The Notable Technical Women project continues to thrive. Jessica Dickinson Goodman is incorporating the most recent accomplishments into our “Notable Women in Computing” deck for Dr. Susan Rodger to sell at the SIGCSE 2016 conference. These were very popular at last year’s Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) gathering. Over 5,000 decks have been distributed since Jessica, Susan, and I started this project in 2014. I just finished research to update the 54 cards honoring our remarkable technical leaders. (I hope that the updates will be done in time for me to bring some decks on the TechWomen Delegations to Jordan and Zimbabwe next month.) Here is what I found:
New Wikipedia Biography Pages:
Remarkable New Honors or Awards (or changes of venue):
- Ada Lovelace: 200th Birthday Celebrated by Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries
- Jennifer Chayes – Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and 2015 John von Neumann Lecture Award
- Helen Greiner: 2014 Presidential Ambassador for Global Leadership (PAGE)
- Mary Lou Jepsen is now an executive at Facebook / Oculus VR (moved from GoogleX)
- Katherine Johnson: 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom, and 2015 NCWIT Pioneer Award
- Kristina Johnson: 2015 elected to the National Inventors Hall of Fame
- Jean Sammet: 2013 NCWIT Pioneer Award
- Padmasree Warrior is now the CEO of U.S. for NextEV (moved from Cisco)
- Jennifer Widom: 2015 ACM-W Athena Lecturer Award
Please tell me if you know of recent honors to add to these! You can buy cards and posters on Notable Technical Women, and follow this project on our Facebook page.
Regrettably, I was not able to find Wikipedia biography pages for four of our honorees. (This is actually progress since 14 were missing bios in November 2014.) Please use Dr. Susan Rodger’s Writing Wikipedia Pages for Notable Women in Computing guide to write about:
Images Copyright 2016 by Katy Dickinson
This week will be the first TechWomen photography show: TechWomen: Impact through Imagery at White Walls SF (in San Francisco, California):
Since 2011, TechWomen has been empowering women to be change agents – exposing more women and children to STEM and leading efforts to address social and economic challenges. Last year, TechWomen awarded $15,000 in seed grants to support six action plans. Donations from TechWomen: Impact through Imagery will fund 2016 seed grants. Bring your friends for an opportunity to share what TechWomen is about: Thursday, January 21 at 6:30 PM
Next month, I am looking forward to joining the TechWomen mentoring program Delegations to Jordan and Zimbabwe, with a visit to Israel and Palestine in between. I am delighted that my daughter Jessica can join me in Israel and Palestine. These will be my 7th and 8th delegation trips, and my third trip to the Middle East with Jessica. We look forward to visiting STEM programs for girls and women – like the Injaz program we visited in Jordan in 2013, pictured here:
Images Copyright 2013 by Katy Dickinson
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):
- Team Nigeria’s “STEM in a Box” – this education project was also voted “Audience Favorite”
- Palestine’s “STEM Fem” – project to connect technical women to jobs
- Jordan’s “She Can Do It!” – focus on workforce training
- Egypt’s “She is Back” – project to re-employ women returning to workplace
- Kyrgyzstan’s “We Care” – project to improve healthcare
- 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!
Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson
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.
Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson
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!
Images Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson
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!
Pictures Copyright 2015 by Katy Dickinson