by Esther Barthel, CTP, Women in Tech Lead Mentor
Women in Technology Role Models
Only 26% of employees in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields are women. Bearing that in mind, over the last couple of years, big technology corporations like Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Citrix, and many more, have focused on Women in Technology to create a more diverse workforce in the STEM-oriented work field.
A recent survey conducted among over 1500 women working in technology professions by Pluralsight, in conjunction with Women Who Code, made us aware of the need for more female role models and mentoring programs, as those were ranked the top factors holding them back in their careers. With the Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) program, we have some of the role model part covered. 😉
But from a Citrix User Group Community (CUGC) perspective, we also wanted to play a more active role in helping women to become more visible in the STEM field or even apply to and join the CTA and CTP programs that are out there.
We therefore decided to start the CUGC Women in Technology Mentorship Program.
From women in technology, for women in technology.
Who are we?
Esther Barthel: With a MS in Computer Science, Esther is a passionate technology professional, and especially loves to design new VDI infrastructures based on the Citrix product portfolio, and automate the implementation and administration tasks with PowerShell scripts. Esther is also a CTP and very active in the CUGC community as a forum moderator and a member of the Content Working Group.
Theresa Miller: The Founder and CEO of 24×7 IT Connection, with over 20 years of hands-on technical experience specializing in virtualization, messaging and collaboration. In addition to earning a MBA, Theresa is industry-recognized as a Citrix CTP, VMware vExpert, and an Atlantis ACE. She feels truly honored to be part of this mentoring program and is looking forward to working with her mentees!
Jo Harder: Jo has been involved with virtualization for 17 years. She was a Senior Architect at Citrix for 11 years and has subsequently held consulting, architecture, and product management roles. As a CTP and active community member, she focuses on XenApp/XenDesktop user experience topics, including peripherals, HDX/ICA, monitoring, and applications.
Connie Barrera: Connie is a CTP and the Chief Information Security Officer at Jackson Health System, with over 24 years of experience in the IT industry. Connie holds MCP, MCSE, CCNA, CCM, CCA, CRISC, CISA, CISSP, ISA, PCIP and CCP-M certifications. She is also an active mentor of young students through the ITWomen organization.
What is the CUGC Women in Technology Mentorship Program?
During this inaugural phase, the CUGC Women in Technology Mentorship Program, an initiative that started with the women in the CTP program, will match female CUGC members with one of the female CTPs for six months of 1:1 mentoring to enhance professional and personal development amongst women in the technology field.
Why are we doing this?
We believe that there are more women out there working with Citrix technologies who would like to meet up on a more personal level and at a higher frequency than current industry events, such as Citrix Synergy and other technology conferences, have the bandwidth to offer.
How will it work?
Each mentee accepted into the program will work with her mentor to define goals and develop strategies for reaching those goals, set forth in an agreement with a clear timeline. The general expectation is to have several contacts each month, mostly via email.
The structure of the program is informal. The mentor and mentee decide together on the nature and frequency of meetings, and the objectives and outcomes of the mentorship. As our mentors are spread across the globe, in both the USA and EMEA, the program aims to use modern conferencing tools to set up personal meetings with the mentees and offer webinars on common topics, like working in a male dominant workplace and how to boost your confidence, as our mentors share their personal experiences and knowledge on the subjects.
How can I join the program?
You can apply to the mentorship program by filling out the application form by October 25, 2016 and providing us with a short introduction of yourself and your motivation to join the CUGC Women in Technology Mentorship Program. We will notify the selected mentees of their acceptance into the program by October 28, 2016, and plan to kick things off in early November.
Those applicants not accepted into this first pass of the program will also be notified, and are encouraged to apply for the next session, currently expected to begin in June 2017.
Can I be a mentor?
Even though the mentorship program was started by CTPs, this is not a requirement to become a mentor. In fact, we hope that our mentees will go on to become mentors themselves, and grow the program. If you are interested in mentoring through the program, please reach out to let us know how you would like to be involved.