I'm sure I've told a few of you but I've recently taken a position as the Mentorship Director at the Girls in Tech Los Angeles organization. Obviously a volunteer job to occupy me in my ample spare time, but sarcasm aside, mentoring women is something I'm passionate about. There were no role models for me growing up as a female tech geek in the middle of Canada. Certainly no female techies of any sort let alone a CEO or CIO of a tech company. Role models abound nowadays and I want to help women get ahead and get connected in these male dominated technical fields.
To that end for the last week I've spent time connecting women to girls in a number of different ways and I'm pretty stoked about it. Most of these opportunities have come from our relationship with the Girl Scouts of Los Angeles and we're thankful for their referrals. I've managed to find two mentors for two girls going for their GS Gold Award. This is the highest award in Girl Scouts and only 5.4% of girls trying to attain the goal, do. The mentors are two female rocket scientists from the JPL Mars Rover teams and will be working with the girls on robotics. I'm also working with a female video game developer to help the Girl Scouts of Los Angeles finish developing their video gaming badge. And you thought that Girls Scouts was just cookies. No more - they don't earn badges in cooking, baking and camping, they earn badges in financial planning, robotics, recycling, and the list goes on and on.
My next project is seeing if getting on the GS Gold Award committee would help them in any way and would possibly also be a great way to continue to connect engineers with girls needing mentors.
Stay tuned for what we have planned next as the train has begun to roll out of the station and is picking up steam!