This year, International Women's Day is on March 8th and I have personally been using this day for the last couple of years to reflect on our CUGC Women in Technology mentorship program and its accomplishments.
About the program
The program was started in 2016 by three female Citrix Technology Professionals (CTPs): myself, Jo Harder, and Theresa Miller with the awesome help of Stephanie Boozer of CUGC HQ.
The CUGC WIT mentorship program has a very clear mission to provide 1:1 mentoring with a focus on technical and professional growth: "To elevate women in Citrix technologies through mentorships and content that enhances technical knowledge and professional confidence."
And when I look back on our accomplishments, it sure makes me proud!
- The program doubles in size each year as we offer mentees the chance to become mentors for the next class and pass on their knowledge and experience.
- 3 mentees have been accepted to the Citrix CTA program
- 1 mentee was awarded Citrix Technology Professional this year
- The Citrix Synergy 2019 in-person workshop & networking event drew 52 registrants and offered a great learning experience to one of our mentees, who hosted the workshop.
- The Citrix Synergy 2019 Fireside chat, with a focus on diversity, even had two mentors sharing their experiences in the discussion panel.
But I'm personally most proud of my own learning experience during the IGEL Disrupt keynote by Eva Helén, who made me realize that diversity is not just a workplace theme, but should also be integrated in our CUGC WIT mentorship program too. So, with the new insights of Eva to recognize the male sponsors and allies who want to help Women in IT and promote diversity, we opened up the program to our first male mentors in 2019, as they had been offering their help numerous times.
Keeping the conversation going
And this year, I'm grateful to have had the chance to talk about our program at a local user group together with my first mentee, Kari Ludvigsen, who shared her personal story with the group and some of the struggles she has had. Going by the responses of some of the men, Kari's story really opened their eyes and made them eager to become active sponsors of women in tech. And the questions they had definitely made me realize we need to have a lot more of these conversations and find some new ways to sponsor our women in tech and make them feel even more welcome 😊
How can you help?
We do realize that mentoring is not for everyone, as it does ask for a longer term commitment.
But we would love to extend the mentorship program with something I would like to call 'community-funded WIT sponsoring' as I know our mentees would love the opportunity to see you in action on a workday or specific task, like upgrading a Citrix infrastructure component. So, if you would like to share your knowledge and experience and have a trainee-for-a-day, please reach out to us! (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your ideas!)#WomeninTech#Mentoring#Professional_Development
If you are not able to share work, due to the nature of it, we would love for you to help us develop some training classes for our mentees or maybe even sponsor time and access to online training environments or become a study buddy for our mentees.
If you have some other cool ideas to help us elevate our mentees, reach out and we'd be thrilled to make it happen!
And if you'd love for me to join one of your user group sessions for a chat on mentoring women in tech, I'd be happy to tell you all about our awesome program!