The goal of the mentoring program was to link professional women in their 20s and 30s women with influential figures from the London technology industry, to aid the mentees in the development and progress of their careers. The exclusive program consisted of 15 mentees, chosen out of hundreds of applicants, to participate in speed mentoring sessions every five weeks with key members of the technology industry.
The program resulted in 60 percent of mentees seeing a great improvement in their negotiation skills. In fact, nearly half (47%) achieved a promotion. Mentees accessed expert panels on a variety of topics including negotiation, presentation, leadership skills, alongside speed mentoring sessions with top-tier women in the tech industry. Mentors—80% of which were female—came from leading companies such as Google, Unruly, Lloyds Bank and Cult LDN.
“With the mentoring program, we have been able to prove one thing: that the UK has got talented women working in technology and to unleash and support it,” said Josephine Goube – the Program Director. “We are now looking to work with tech companies who want to attract and support gender diversity within their teams and help them do so.”
Other program achievements include:
- 91% of the mentees improved presentation skills
- 70% of the mentees are now totally at ease with networking
- 80% of mentees state they would not have achieved what they have without the mentoring program
Each mentee presented their story and overall program experience to the graduation party guests. Baroness Shields, Ambassador of the program and Minister for Internet Safety and Security, UK Government, gave a speech to congratulate the women that have embarked on the program and taken steps to forge a successful career in tech.
Sally Freeman, Mentee Manager, was considered essential to the program’s overall success. She worked hands-on to support, encourage and be the first point of contact for each mentee. To stay organized, Sally created a WhatsApp group which provided weekly support, reminders of events, tasks and information to encourage the group. Lots of women in the program were experiencing transition into new roles, starting up new companies or exploring potential changes in direction. Often, Freeman’s role was to listen, support or to connect the Mentee with a Mentor that could support the individual in her challenge.
“Sometimes just a word of encouragement or giving ten minutes of your time is all that is needed for the individual to feel valued and ready to get back on their path,” Freeman said. “Sometimes life situations are complex and so continued support and listening is required where resolution is not possible.”
“It’s our bond with others that makes us human”
“The digital world is incredible, but it’s our bonds with others that makes us human. Top women championing future leaders, taking on the mantle of role model, mentor and friend makes all the difference,” said Baroness Shields. “The fast growing tech industry is well placed to encourage more women to reach the top. Mentoring young women is a vital effort in achieving this goal. It’s my privilege to support Girls in Tech.”
Kathryn Parsons, Founder of Decoded, and Girls in Tech team leaders also shared a few words with the guests on the need for more visibility to women who are working in tech, and the critical role a supportive network plays in success.
“Be brave and bold,” advised Parsons. “It’s definitely not easy. Network. Adapt to inevitable change. Learn from every failure. Surround yourself with amazing people. And harness the power of technology to help you achieve your ambition.”
Girls in Tech UK will continue the mentoring program this year. Applications will be available this summer and the program will kick off in September.