100 TechWomen emerging leaders gather in Chicago for for five weeks of STEM-based co-mentorship.

The United States Welcomes the 2023 TechWomen Emerging Leaders to San Francisco and Chicago

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 27, 2023 —  TechWomen, the U.S. Department of State’s premier exchange program for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), utilizes cross-national mentorship to equip global emerging leaders with tools to help them drive positive impact in their professions and communities.

From September 20 to October 26, TechWomen welcomes nearly one hundred emerging women leaders from the Middle East, Africa, and South and Central Asia to the United States. They will spend five weeks engaging in professional mentorship, cultural immersion, and impact coaching with U.S.-based counterparts in STEM. As announced via telecast by U.S. Secretary of State Antony S. Blinken during last year’s TechWomen@10 anniversary event, TechWomen is expanding beyond California’s San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago, Illinois.

TechWomen was launched in 2011 by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Since its inception, TechWomen has been hosted in the San Francisco Bay Area, the birthplace of Silicon Valley and home to a large portion of the global technology industry. This fall, TechWomen will diversify its reach to the Chicago metro area to engage with long-standing pioneers in the manufacturing, food, and agriculture business sectors of America’s heartland.

TechWomen participants were selected based on their educational and professional accomplishments in conjunction with their ability to inspire and support women and girls in STEM in their communities. The current cohort was drawn from a highly selective pool of more than 3,000 applicants. More than half of them have an advanced degree, and nearly half have entrepreneurial experience.

This cohort also includes two alumnae of TechGirls, the U.S. State Department’s youth-focused international STEM exchange program, which counts many TechWomen participants within its mentor community. Houa Seghouani of Algeria and Khadija Bencekri of Morocco are the first TechGirls alumnae to introduce an era of greater connection between the two programs and further the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to empower women and girls.

These trailblazing women will immerse themselves in the innovative STEM work and local cultures of Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area by engaging in peer-to-peer exchange with the U.S. STEM professionals who volunteer as mentors in various capacities.

Our 2023 mentorship sponsors and program partners include 23andMe, Adobe, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Apple, Autodesk, Big Commerce, Cahill Contractors Inc., Chime, GoDaddy, Google, Intel, Jacobs, Juniper Networks, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, LinkedIn, Marvell, Microsoft, Northgate Environmental Management, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Salesforce, Sol Ecology, Synopsys, Thermofisher, Total Energies, UC Berkeley CITRUS Foundry, Unity Technologies, Veritas, and VMware.

About the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly and peaceful relations. We accomplish this mission through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges that engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries.

About the Institute of International Education (IIE)

The Institute of International Education (IIE) is the leader in designing and implementing international education strategies and program services. We work with governments, policymakers, educators, and employers across the globe to prepare students and professionals for the global workforce and equip them to solve the increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world. With support from donors, we also create initiatives that assist students, scholars, and artists whose lives and work are threatened; expand teaching and learning across cultures; and provide opportunities to underserved populations. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 16 offices and affiliates worldwide and over 1,600 higher education partners.

Public Affairs Contacts:

IIE: Press@iie.org and Zaria Qadafi, zqadafi@iie.org ECA: ECA-Press@state.gov

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