Women In Big Data India

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Mentoring – What Women in Big Data Is Doing About It

By Deborah Sgro  – WiBD Mentoring Director

In September 2021, McKinsey & Company, in partnership with Leanin.org, repeated a study of 65K women in corporate America known as Women In The Workplace 2021. The authors report: “Despite small gains in the pipeline (compared to 2016), women remain underrepresented across the corporate ladder.”

The authors continue, “Women continue to face a broken rung at the first step up to manager: for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted. As a result, men outnumber women significantly at the manager level, which means that there are far fewer women to promote to higher levels.”

What can turn these numbers around?  The four actions most sighted in the literature to drive progress include:

  • Changes in corporate culture and practices
  • Engaging in mentorship
  • Utilizing sponsorship
  • Cultivating allyship

This is where Women in Big Data steps in by launching its 2022 Global Mentoring Initiative. Coordinating the mentoring interest generated by local chapters, we are happy to announce WiBD will start this year by offering seven mentoring programs, three of which are new programs. Here is a summary of the programs currently available:

Gayatri is a 1:1 virtual mentoring program to guide and nurture future tech leaders with focus on career advancement and career transition skills. Gayatri is open to mentees from India chapters with 3+ years tech experience, and mentors from any chapter with 10+ years. Participants can choose to engage for either 6 or 12 months, and are expected to meet 1 hour per week.

Getting From Here To There is a peer mentoring program focused on developing skills to create and execute a career advancement or new job search strategy. This three month virtual program is open to members from all chapters. Participants will work together, guided by 2 experienced facilitators, in 6 bi-weekly group meetings, with accountability pair “stand-ups” in between the group sessions.

Leadership Circles is a new invitation-only program designed to recognize and honor the contribution of our regional and chapter leadership. Based on the work of Dr. Ellen Snee’s book “Lead:  How Women In Leadership Claim Their Authority”, this 3-4 month virtual program utilizes large monthly assemblies and smaller discussion groups.

Mentor in Tech International is a 1:1 program focusing on technical skill and leadership development, product and program management, entrepreneurship, startup skills and career advancement. This 12-week virtual program is open to members from any chapter and is a good choice for mentees who have strong motivation, and mentors with 3+years tech experience. Pairs are expected to meet for at least 3 1-hour sessions.

Shakti is a 1:1 mentoring program supporting women returning to a data career after an employment break. This 4-6 month virtual program is open to mentees from India chapters with 3+ years experience and a 1-year minimum employment break, and for mentors from any chapter with 12+ years tech experience. Mentees are expected to invest 16-24 hours/week, and mentors are expected to contribute 1 hour weekly for the first 3 months and then 1 hour biweekly afterwards.

Another new program is Toronto Mentoring. This 12 week virtual 1:1 program is open to WiBD Canadian members. Toronto Mentoring is designed to meet career advancement and skill development goals. This is a good program for mentees with less than 5 years tech experience, and mentors with 5+ years of tech experience. Pairs are expected to meet minimally every 2 weeks for a 1-hour session.

Finally, our third new program is Data Science Olympians. This 4-month virtual project-based program focuses on advancing technology skill development and technical leadership through data science contest participation. Participants will work in teams led by peer leaders and peer coordinators and are expected to invest 4 to 6 hours weekly. Open to all WiBD members, this program welcomes everyone from data science enthusiasts to industry domain experts.

You’ll find more detailed program descriptions and links for applying on the mentoring tab of the WiBD website with direct link here.

Chapter and regional leaders, please email mentoring@womeninbigdata.org if you have an idea for a mentoring program. We’ll assign a Mentoring Admin partner to help your team develop their mentoring offering.  New mentoring programs will be launched quarterly.

And with that, let me encourage everyone to take advantage of this excellent opportunity to bypass that “broken rung”.