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Application Deadline: January 13, 2023
TechWomen aims 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. TechWomen 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.
Launched in 2011, TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and is managed by the Institute of International Education (IIE).
How We 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 or Chicago, 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 twelve years, more than 1,000 women from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, 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, Illinois or Washington, DC. After the program, Emerging Leaders and mentors have the opportunity to reconnect during delegation trips to program countries in Africa, South and Central Asia and the Middle East. Programming focuses on expanding networks of women in STEM fields, creating and strengthening partnerships, encouraging girls to pursue STEM careers and ensuring the sustainability of mentor-fellow relationships.
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.
- 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, Libya, 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 (other than the Diversity Immigrant Visa, also known as the “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.
The following costs are covered by the TechWomen program:
- Roundtrip international airfare from participant home country to the United States
- Domestic airfare from San Francisco or Chicago to Washington, D.C.
- Housing in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, California, Emeryville, California or Chicago, Illinois during the mentorship period
- Meals and incidentals
- Hotel stay in Washington, D.C.
- Public transportation to the participant’s host company
- Local transportation to group program events in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, Illinois, and Washington, D.C.
Participants are responsible for the cost of any non program activities such as independent sightseeing and cultural events, as well as any non program-related domestic or international travel.