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Box, Facebook and Pinterest Announced WEST Program for Women

| by Savita Pahuja Follow 2 Followers on Oct 29, 2014. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

Box, Facebook and Pinterest announced "WEST - Women Entering and Staying in Tech", a one-on-one mentorship program for women to grow their technology career. Official website of the program is http://westmentors.org/

Currently many organizations are focusing on diversity at work. Organizations are creating various programs to motivate and increase the count of women at work. Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, shared her views on importance of diverse teams in an interview with USA Today.

Endless data show that diverse teams make better decisions. We are building products that people with very diverse backgrounds use, and I think we all want our company makeup to reflect the makeup of the people who use our products.

There is gender gap in the technology industry therefore organizations are looking forward to promote women to pursue their career in technology. As per one of the Facebook post:

The number of open jobs in CS is expected to explode to 1.4 million in 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau found that women’s representation in tech occupations has actually been on the decline since the 1990s. Tech is looking for new ways to get women interested in CS and to stay in technical roles as they advance through their careers.

Pilot of WEST program will kickoff in early 2015. WEST will be open to mentees in the Bay Area, from those beginning their careers as interns to mid-career women looking to further their growth or take the next step. They will further expand this program to more career levels and geographic regions.

The pilot will focus on engineering, operations, product, design and web development roles. Women in technical roles from the three companies will serve as one-on-one mentors for the WEST class of women chosen. They’ll meet with the mentees individually, as a group, in person and online, over the course of a year.

These three companies are looking forward for the success of the program. They see the benefits of providing mentorship to women in technology as the encouragement for women to continue and flourish their career. As per the Facebook announcement:

Mentorship can be incredibly influential in a woman’s career, and we’re excited to be tackling this challenge together. We believe that by working together and providing more direct support, advocacy, and space for community development, we can create an impactful, scalable, one-on-one mentorship program to help women build and grow meaningful careers in tech.

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