A Women in Tech Mentorship Program Update

By Esther Barthel posted 9 days ago

  
The CUGC Women in Technology mentorship program has traditionally chosen Citrix Synergy these last couple of years as our big finale for our mentorship class. This year will be no exception, as we are closing down another successful mentorship class in Atlanta with a face-to-face meeting with the mentees that are able to make it to Synergy. Of course, attending Synergy is not a requirement, so for those mentees that are not so fortunate, we will organize a nice closing webinar to ensure we can all share our experiences, thoughts and feedback to keep improving the program and support we offer the Women in Tech out in the field!
 
But let me not get ahead of myself and start with a short recap of the achievements for this class.
 

Welcoming new mentors

Each year, we offer our mentees the option to promote themselves to mentors and give back to the program and other Women in Tech or take up the challenge to get more involved in the community, which is a valid goal for many of our mentees. From our first class, René Reighard was one of the mentees that wanted to give back and now shares her own experiences and war stories as a mentor.
 
“Being a mentor in a structured role, I had these ideas of what goals you want to work on, but the lesson for me was to listen and share experiences. Let the mentee drive the conversation. It is surprising what professional growth lessons can be found in how we react to pivotal life changes (marriage, new job, moving…).  How we cope these life changes, and what went well and what could have gone better, can  prepare us for changes in our professional field.“ –René Reighard, CUGC Women In Tech Mentor & CTA
 

Adding some pretty cool webinars to the mix

To challenge ourselves as community leaders, we wanted to make the program more interactive by hosting some pretty cool webinars.

 
The first webinar was a closed webinar for our mentees with Ricky Trilago, VP of Product Management at ControlUp, who gave us some great insights into the career choices she made and the challenges she faced. She also gave us some great book reading tips to help us focus on our own careers and find our own passion and fun at work. I personally am always grateful to hear our women share their field experience and to discover that I am not alone in the challenges I face. And the positive feedback we received from our mentees acknowledged the need to plan even more webinars like these in the future …… and so we did.
 
And so, I discovered this great message from Eva Helén at the IGEL Disrupt event in Munich, that strengthened me to suggest some changes to the mentorship program as well. And I was even more ecstatic that Eva was willing to share her story and vision with the CUGC community through a webinar and panel discussion. This time, the webinar was open for all CUGC members as I felt it was very important to share Eva’s message with the entire community and not just our mentees. Especially as she gave me this great new insight that it is very important to not become a women exclusive ‘club,’ but to get the men at the table as well, to be able to help out each other as the importance and success of diverse teams is becoming more visible for a lot of technology companies, including Citrix.

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I encourage you to check out the recording of the webinar and learn more about Eva’s vision and how the CUGC WiT mentorship program has adapted it as well, by inviting some well-known community heroes (and great mentors to myself), like @Jim Moyle, and @Mike Nelson to become mentors and share their experience and insights with the next class.

And as we got more and more excited about using the webinar format to share our experiences with a broader audience, only a week ago, @Theresa Miller mentor and leader, gave us some great tips and tricks to help build our personal brand, along with panelists from Cohesity. And for those that were not able to attend, you can find the recording here.
 

Mentees

Even though I am not actively mentoring during this class, I pitched in by helping out in the background to bring more structure, new ideas and guidance to the program. That did not make the mentoring efforts less this year. In fact, we were able to pair up more mentors and mentees than last year and I think we can claim some great successes as well this year as we encouraged both a mentor ( @Rene Reighard) and a mentee ( @Jenny Sheerin) to apply to the Citrix Technology Advocate program and get awarded as well! Congratulations to both women as we are very happy to see the number of women that are actively involved in the community and Citrix award programs grow.
 
“Over the years I had been asked to apply for the CTP/CTA program, but wasn’t much of a blogger or webinar host kind of gal. With WIT, I try new uncomfortable situations as one of my goals. I’ve learned that there are lots of ways to contribute to the Citrix community and with each new situation, I have a new experience and can share my knowledge with my mentee to make it not feel so overwhelming. It is okay to be uncomfortable and you might surprise yourself.“ –René Reighard, CUGC Women In Tech Mentor & CTA
 

Citrix Synergy activities

And that’s not all, our mentees will actively participate at Citrix Synergy 2019! Jenny Sheerin will be one of the Lunch Table Tech Chat hosts and @Heather Meyer will host the Lean-In session we are organizing at Synergy.

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And of course, you will be able to spot us at the event, thanks to our t-shirts. So feel free to walk up to any of us and have a chat about the program and what we can do for you!
 
I hope to see you all in a week at Synergy or catch you online at myCUGC.org or any social media channel 😊
 
Cheers,
Esther​​​​​​​​​​​
#WomeninTech
#CitrixSynergy2019
#CitrixSynergy