What is TechWomen?
TechWomen is an Initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
TechWomen empowers, connects and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their communities.
Through mentorship and exchange, TechWomen strengthens participants’ professional capacity, increases mutual understanding between key networks of professionals, and expands girls’ interest in STEM careers by exposing them to female role models.
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 Do It
TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, 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, DC. for targeted meetings and special events to conclude the program.
Over the past six years, 420 women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe have participated in TechWomen.
Mentoring Across the World
The TechWomen experience doesn’t end in California or Washington, DC. After the program, Emerging Leaders and Mentors have the opportunity to reconnect during delegation trips to program countries in Africa, Central Asia 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 participants are selected based on the eligibility requirements below. Applications are reviewed by independent selection committees composed of industry leaders and regional experts. Semifinalists may be interviewed by United States Embassy personnel in their country of permanent residence.
2017 TechWomen Eligibility Requirements
- Be women with, at minimum, two years full-time professional experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Please note that internships and other unpaid work experience does not count toward the two-year professional experience requirement.
- Have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree/four-year university degree or equivalent.
- Be proficient in written and spoken English.
- Be citizens and permanent residents of Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Zimbabwe at the time of application and while participating in the program.
- Be eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa.
- Not have applied for an immigrant visa to the United States or participated in a visa lottery in the past five years.
- Not hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. legal permanent resident.
Preference will be given to applicants who
- Demonstrate themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen professional track through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities and education.
- Are committed to return to their home countries to share what they have learned and mentor women and girls.
- Have limited or no prior experience in the United States.
- Have a proven record of voluntary or public service in their communities.
- Have a demonstrated track record of entrepreneurialism and commitment to innovation.
- Demonstrate a willingness to participate in exchange programs, welcome opportunities for mentoring and new partnership development, and exhibit confidence and maturity.
TechWomen encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.
Women committed to addressing concerns of global climate change and environmental issues are particularly encouraged to apply.
The 2017 TechWomen application will be open November 15, 2016, through January 17, 2017. Semifinalists will be contacted via email in/around March 2017. Final decisions will be made no later than early May 2017. All applicants will be notified of the results of their application. To apply for the 2017 Program, please click HERE