Jessica Bircsak - Program Director
Yasmin Shafi - Deputy Program Director (half term)
Louiza Nutt - Deputy Program Director (half term)
Isabelle Kluger - Committee Member
Shelly Tiwari - Committee Member
Isabelle Kluger - Committee Member
Maria Palmer - Committee Member
Hershi jagannath - Committee Member
Mohamad Othman - Committee Member
The Mentor(she:) program was founded by VIC ICT for Women and provides mentorship opportunities for women working in the technology sector. The Mentor(she:) program's objective is to utilise the benefits of mentoring to support and guide women to progress a career in technology. The program not only provides mentoring, it also offers participants, tools, resources and a professional community to belong to.
With only 28% of women representing the technology sector (44% compared to other industries) mentoring offers a solution for the industry to retain the number of women working in technology.
VIC ICT for Women was founded initially to raise awareness of the low representation of women in the technology sector. The Mentor(she:) program is just one initiative that VIC ICT for Women manages to address gender diversity.
Research suggests that one of the reasons why there is a gender imbalance in the technology sector is the lack of female role models. Women are leaving the industry or are confronted with barriers and challenges that can hinder their success in a technology career. Women may not have the support and guidance accessible to overcome these barriers.
The Mentor(she: ) program was established to offer VIC ICT for Women members with a forum to network, and obtain the guidance needed to progress into a successful and fulfilling career in technology.
The Mentor(she: ) program offers a mentor matching tool, educational resources such as mentee goal setting, mentor handbook, leadership webinars and host a series of events thought-out the year to encourage professional networking.
VIC ICT for Women is a leader in driving actions to gain a more gender balanced network. The Mentor (she:) program is proven to be a successful resource and leader of its kind in the technology sector by the growing number of participants, positive feedback of the program and support it receives every year from its corporate partners and sponsors.
Mentees have shared their experiences from the Mentor(she:) program as being the main source of their career achievements such as salary increases, job promotions or better work/life balance.
The Mentor(she:) program is highly received within the VIC ICT for Women community and there has been very minimal resistance.
The Mentor(she :) program has run consecutively for the past 10 years and has continued to grow with a record number of mentee / mentor registrations reaching 200 in 2018. The program has also been successful in obtaining corporate sponsorship each year, receiving $10,000 in cash, plus in-kind donations in 2018.
- Zora Hoare
0476 689 779
Senior Manager – CX & Insights
I have signed up for the VIC ICT mentoring program this year with mixed expectations but I would like to say it’s been great so far. I have been allocated an amazing mentor, with relevant experience to share their wisdom and advise on how I can deal with some challenging situations in my current job and tips on developing my career. The VIC ICT committee consists of several volunteers from various companies, backgrounds and age groups led by Jessica Bircsak. They have created and continue delivering a highly valuable, engaging and popular mentoring program for women in IT in Melbourne area, including relevant networking and thought leadership events for both mentors and mentees.
- Kate Illsley
The mentor she program has provided value in the areas of connecting participants with real relationships with mentors who can make a difference to your career and self confidence as a women in tech. The program provides Networking with peers and other more experienced mentors in the industry. The webinars and lunches are a great way to keep us engaged and highlight issues that are relevant to us to help guide us through our journey. Most of all it's a community where we can share and learn from each other in a safe space.
The Mentor(she:) Program has an average growth of participants of approx 20% each year.
We have approx 10 male mentors within the mentor community (note: all mentees are women)
Surveys of the program are run annually and results depict an average of 90% for overall satisfaction of the program.
Several mentees have shared results and outcomes of the program such as:
- job promotions
- salary increases
- new employment opportunities
- overcoming work conflict
- better work/life balance outcomes.
As the program director, I often receive feedback /testimonials from the mentees and mentors about their experience of participating in the program. The feedback received is almost always positive and suggests that the benefits of the program are being well received. Some of our mentees have reported receiving pay rises, negotiated better work/life balance and new employment opportunities as a result of the mentorship they have received. This feedback provides me with a sense of achievement such that the program’s objectives have been fulfilled.
The participants of the Mentor(she: ) program inspire me to continue to drive diversity within the technology sector. The stories shared with me leave me feeling motivated to make a difference to these women. I feel I have an obligation to the participants to provide them with a fulfilling experience as well as the industry for which they represent.