TechWomen is a mentorship and exchange program that aims to empower, connect and support the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East by providing them access and opportunity to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and become role models for women and girls in their communities. Launched in 2011, TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).
The program seeks to advance the rights and participation of women and girls around the world by enabling them to reach their full potential in the tech industry.
Approximately 113 professional women working in STEM fields from 21 countries in North Africa and the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and South and Central Asia will travel to the United States in September 2023 for an intensive 5-week exchange focused on promoting collaboration in science and technology. Women will select one of six tracks: information technology, green technology, science, internet, biotechnology, or telecommunications when applying. TechGirls alumnae are also encouraged to apply.
The program begins with a series of hybrid workshops focused on leadership skills, innovation and design thinking, followed by individual 15-day professional mentorship fellowships at leading innovation companies and organizations in Silicon Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Chicago. Each participant will complete a mentorship and each participating country will work as a team with Impact Coaches to formulate an action plan to address a socioeconomic challenge in their home communities. The teams will pitch their projects in a competition, with the winners receiving seed funding. Participants will also engage in community service projects and participate in cultural and recreational activities within their U.S. community. The exchange will conclude with a three-day program in Washington, D.C., where participants and mentors network and engage with Department of State officials and other women leaders in government.
Applicants must have strong English skills as the program is conducted entirely in English.
TechWomen participants are selected based on the eligibility requirements below. Applications are reviewed by independent selection committees composed of industry leaders and regional experts. Semifinalists will be interviewed by U.S. Embassy Tashkent personnel.
- Be women with, at minimum, two years full-time professional experience in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. Please note that internships and other unpaid work experience does not count toward the two-year professional experience requirement;
- Have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree/four-year university degree or equivalent;
- Be proficient in written and spoken English;
- Be citizens and permanent residents of Uzbekistan at the time of application and while participating in the program;
- Be eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa;
- Not have applied for an immigrant visa to the United States or participated in a visa lottery in the past five years; and
- Not hold U.S. citizenship or be a U.S. legal permanent resident.
Preference will be given to applicants who:
- Demonstrate themselves as emerging leaders in their chosen professional track through their work experience, volunteer experience, community activities and education;
- Are committed to returning to their home countries to share what they have learned and mentor women and girls;
- Have limited or no prior experience in the United States;
- Have a proven record of voluntary or public service in their communities;
- Have a demonstrated track record of entrepreneurialism and commitment to innovation; and
- Demonstrate a willingness to participate in exchange programs, welcome opportunities for mentoring and new partnership development, and exhibit confidence and maturity.
TechWomen encourages people with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including individuals with disabilities.
The application period opens on November 30, 2022 and closes 09:00AM PST (GMT-08:00), Friday, January 13, 2023. Semifinalists will be contacted via email not later than April 2023. Final decisions will be made no later than May 31, 2023. All applicants will be notified of the results of their application.
To submit your application online, please follow this link: Eligibility and Application — TechWomen