New York Tech’s Women’s Technology Council Establishes Mentoring Program

March 16, 2021

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. workforce, yet according to a survey from DDI, 63 percent of women have never had a formal mentor.

In fact, employees with mentors are more likely to get promotions, a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology found. All of this, combined with an intensely challenging labor market in which women accounted for almost 80 percent of those over age 20 who left the workforce in January, and new rules for navigating careers in response to the global pandemic, has led to questions and frustrations for many young female professionals.

New York Institute of Technology’s Women’s Technology Council (WTC) has answered this need by establishing a mentoring program to support and guide the university’s female students from college to career.

The program is the brainchild of Edie Weiner, president and CEO of The Future Hunters and a founding member of the WTC, which was created in 2019 as a way to connect female students with opportunities, role models, and resources to help them succeed in their professional and personal lives. Weiner has extensive experience in establishing mentorship programs, having created a prototype for mentoring young students in teams in the 1990s, multiplying their opportunities to connect with successful women. Over a six-year period, she paired 75 executive/professional women with 75 underserved teenage girls, working with community-based organizations to source the students. 

Launched in late February, the inaugural WTC mentoring program pairs seven New York Tech alumnae—successful professionals in technology-related fields with experience in mentoring and in breaking barriers and glass ceilings—with seven New York Tech female students across four disciplines – architecture, biology, computer science and finance –-who underwent an intense selection process for inclusion.

“I am the first woman in my family to get a degree and the only member in an engineering field. Guidance from WTC mentors will help me access more opportunities and define a path forward,” said New York Tech student Sakshi Rambhia, a sophomore majoring in computer science. 

Each mentor-mentee pair meets biweekly via a one-hour phone call or online session that encourages personal and professional development including setting goals related to establishing relationships, personal growth, response to feedback, and self-reflection.

The full cohort of 14 will meet once every few months, allowing all participants, who represent different backgrounds, perspectives, and disciplines, to form new and lasting professional and personal relationships. Group activities will include lectures, guest speakers, and online movies, followed by debriefs and discussions.

“I firmly believe a team approach like this can work well and that it can have benefits well beyond the traditional one-on-one mentoring model. In the case of New York Tech, benefits include providing alumnae who may not know each other the ability to network with each other and feel much closer to the university. Over time, it will become a much-sought-after value-add of attending New York Tech for young women deciding where to go for their education,” notes Weiner.

“The multidisciplinary team approach gives everyone a chance to share their own insights and experiences, providing exceptional and unexpected opportunities for a profound sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and growth,” adds Nada Anid, Ph.D., co-founder of the WTC and New York Tech vice president for strategic communications and external affairs. “Our student mentees will acquire unique access and perspectives to learn and grow professionally, offering them skills, knowledge, and insights, along with the confidence and lifelong relationships to help them succeed in their future endeavors.”

Another resource the students can take advantage of is the new Women’s Leadership Video Series, featuring WTC board members, discussing a variety of topics from entrepreneurship and mentorship to career choices, workplace strategies and networking.

About New York Institute of Technology

New York Institute of Technology offers 90 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in more than 50 fields of study, including computer science, data, and cybersecurity; biology and biomedical studies; architecture and design; engineering; health professions and medicine; IT and digital technologies; management; communications and marketing; education and counseling; and energy and sustainability. A nonprofit, independent, private, and nonsectarian institute of higher education, New York Institute of Technology welcomes nearly 8,000 students worldwide. The university has campuses in New York City (Manhattan) and Long Island (Old Westbury), New York; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Vancouver, British Columbia, as well as programs around the world.

New York Institute of Technology embraces its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, give all qualified students access to opportunity, and support research and scholarship that benefit the larger world. More than 107,000 alumni comprise an engaged network of doers, makers, and innovators prepared to change the world, solve 21st-century challenges, and reinvent the future.

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