Everyone should have a Tribe
This would be our first time running a program like this, I mean a one-to-many mentorship cohort.
After the We Discover mentorship cohort launched on March 8, 2022, we realized a portion of the wentees who had applied to the program didn’t get an opportunity to be paired up with mentors. We began looking for creative ways to ensure that a large percentage of them got an opportunity to share in the mentorship experience, and that’s when Dora and the rest of the team suggested a group mentorship experience.
Again, this is something we’ve never done before, however, everyone on the team was open to a learning experience, and that is exactly what we did. We intended to create an immersive experience for the participants; one that would foster learning and also allow them to connect and network with people within and outside their respective regions. That experience is what later became the Tribe mentorship cohort, structured as a 1-to-5 mentorship group which we called Tribes, and each Tribe had its name/tag.
The overall experience working behind the scenes for this cohort was thrilling, and it evolved into a bitter-sweet moment on Friday, July 29, 2022, when the mentorship cohort came to an end with our traditional e-networking ceremony to serve as that moment where everyone comes together one final moment.
The e-networking ceremony marks the end of every mentorship cohort we have held as an organization, and it is characterized by our speed networking session, general feedback session, and stories from the mentorship cohort itself, which is then followed up by any major announcements.
For the first of its kind, the Tribe mentorship cohort was a heartwarming experience for the team at Wentors and we believe for everyone who actively participated in the cohort. The experience was different, and we believe we were able to achieve that immersive and unique experience for the participants of this cohort.
As Dorathy said as she opened up the e-networking ceremony, “Be adventurous, don’t be quiet, connect, even beyond our platform.” That’s our wish for everyone who was a member of this recently concluded mentorship cohort.
I think I speak for everyone on the team when I say that the most memorable part of the e-networking ceremony was the ‘stories from the Tribe session’, which had different women, both wentors and wentees, share their experiences and learnings from the cohort. What stood out for me as I held my tissue behind my laptop screen was how grateful everyone was to be a part of the program.
Theodora Isola, our long-standing wentor who has been with us since our pilot cohort in 2020, and is also the mother to two beautiful and ambitious daughters mentioned how integral the program has become to her process as a woman in tech, and how excited she always is working with women. She went further to talk about how she took her wentees by the hand offering guidance to them and even facilitating a connection for one of her wentees, Bessy, who is working towards becoming a data engineer.
Chennel Williams, a first-time wentor from Jamaica, North America who transitioned into the technology industry was excited to see and assist one of her wentees in her transitioning process. She mentioned that one key thing she ensured her wentees took away was how to ask the right questions, as asking the right questions is a pivotal skill in the industry.
Jennifer Obi brought the house down as her feedback and story literally brought us to tears. In her words, “No one can whistle a symphony, it takes the whole Opera” as she spoke about the value of community, and how she discovered its importance within her Tribe and also within the Wentors community.
“You know, when you get to see the vision you have materialize and impact people, it feels different and so heartwarming. This is why we do what we do as an organization, it’s our drive, and it fuels us as we continue to create similar experiences and even better ones for more women in technology.” A summary of EduAbasi Chukwunweike and Unoma Adeyemi’s teary-eyed comments on the stories shared.
We had wentors from across the world who tuned in for the e-networking ceremony, but Diana, who’s based in Toronto, Canada was not able to make it due to time difference and she sent in a pre-recorded version of her feedback. Diana had worked with two wentees actively and had assisted one of her mentees to secure a fully funded online learning opportunity with Google and Coursera. She mentioned how grateful she was for the opportunity to mentor other women in tech.
Oghale, Diana’s wentee who was also present said this about her experience with Diana, “The bond with Diana was outstanding even on a virtual scale.”
Comments like this give us a kick in the tummy. We love to see that we have given people the opportunity to make lifelong relationships. We recently have a wentor and wentee meetup in Kenya, months after their mentorship experience during one of our previous cohorts.
We intend to continue to build and create an even more interactive and immersive mentorship experience for women in technology across the world. This is one of the reasons which fostered our partnership with PowerToFly and Turing.com to create a job board behind our new membership portal which was announced during the ceremony.
We currently have a membership portal, free and open to women in technology across the world. Though the portal is still in beta, women signed up have access to two job boards with job opportunities across the big 5 and other tech organizations around the world.
We desire that members of our community have the best in professional mentorship, experience and bond with women in technology across different regions of the world, and learn relevant soft skills that would help in advancing their career, but beyond that, we want women in our community to know that being a woman is a thing to be proud of, and being a woman in tech is possible beyond any doubt.
If you are a woman reading this, we believe in you and we are always rooting for you.