In 2015 we teamed up with Capgemini & The Tech Partnership to launch the TechFuture Women’s Network which offers a range of ways for female professionals to mentor students, inspiring them in their education paths and career development. Here Melissa di Donato, Area VP, Salesforce UK shares why she believes it is so important to become a TechFuture Woman.
For young people tech now offers a breadth and depth of opportunity that is consistently changing and incredibly exciting. Britain and the world though, face an increasing global skills shortage in STEM subjects and the amount of girls going into tech is still shockingly small. I believe that in order for both these things to change, women in tech, engineering and product development need to reach out and support the other 50% of the workforce that women and girls make up. Historically there have always been role models for boys in tech but there have never been many for girls and as you can’t be what you can’t see, we need to encourage more women working within STEM to help inspire young people and become more visible. Although in the early part of my career, I found it difficult to find senior women in tech, I know the women who went on to support me played a crucial role in my development by being able to offer a wide range of viewpoints and give me valuable advice.
Becoming a TechFuture Woman and an Apps for Good Expert is a brilliant opportunity to support young people in your own time and act as a real-world expert and advisor for the student teams products and ideas. I have been lucky enough to mentor an 11 year old girl myself and together we’ve started to grow an idea into a company that has been transformational for her and given her the opportunity to act as an inspiration for those around her. Through this experience, I have found that helping advise young people has been both an incredibly rewarding as well as refreshing experience and can occasionally give you the power to aid your own career growth. As an Apps for Good Expert you’re able to give as much time as you want in helping student teams solve a particular problem or improve an idea. By imparting your industry knowledge, you’re also able to offer the students real world experience, confidence in themselves and the ability to help the student teams create fantastic products that can change their world.
Join the TechFuture Women’s Network here, the first mentoring opportunity available is to become an Apps for Good Expert and help guide young people as they develop their own problem-solving apps.