Emerging Leaders Inspire TechWomen Staff

An engraved cedar wood business card holder from Lebanon serves as a souvenir from the 2012 TechWomen program for Lexi Curtice, Program Coordinator. The gift is a small reminder of the larger impact the women who departed the United States three weeks prior, left behind, on staff. “Being part of TechWomen is a very rewarding and enriching experience. The program is really intense. You learn a lot from the participants and you give them a piece of yourself,” said Lexi. “Everyone crossed borders and created new networks. My eyes were opened to a lot of possibilities.”

The TechWomen team spends eleven months preparing to welcome the Emerging Leaders to the United States. With their arrival, the team embraces an intense pace partially dictated by logistics to ensure that every moment spent within the program enhances the lives of those involved. In the process, friendships are built between staff and program participants that leave lifelong impressions. “I was not expecting it to touch me this much,” said Arezoo Miot, Program Officer. “It went beyond just being my job; I was affected on a personal level. There was a strong connection with the women, and I was really sad to see them leave. These women are so strong. They leave their families behind to enrich themselves professionally and to return as leaders to their countries.”

The strength and ambition exuded by the women is contagious. The Emerging Leaders bring to surface how much all professional women, globally, share in common. “This was the best month of my professional life so far,” said Beth Garriott, Senior Program Officer. Beth had only been with the TechWomen program a few days prior to the Emerging Leader’s arrival. “I bonded with the women right from day one. I talked to some of them about my new baby and their experiences with motherhood. They were so friendly and warm. The experience was amazing and unexpected.”

The 2012 TechWomen have managed to inspire the team with their dedication. They helped break down barriers, proving that the program influences everyone that is involved.  “I knew all the participants’ names because of the work I had done with processing the applications. It was very rewarding to get to know them personally and to see how inspiring they are,” said Diana Guan, Program Associate. “They made me realize what I can become and that I am capable of achieving great things. They are fantastic role models!”

The TechWomen’s display of dedication to professional growth encouraged team members to think differently about the availability of opportunities in the United States. “They helped me appreciate what I have accessible to me as far as education is concerned,” said Mizgon Darby, Communications Officer.  “The women were strong and resilient. One of them told us about how she defended her thesis after an explosion back home.  Their courage is addicting.”

The TechWomen team has started preparations for the 2013 program which will welcome Emerging Leaders from 16 countries, eight more than this year. The program’s expansion is an exciting prospect that will require a lot of preparation and the staff looks forward to once again being inspired.  “I am in such awe of the bravery, openness, energy and ambition of the Emerging Leaders,” said Heather Ramsey, Director of Strategic Partnerships.  “This experience is not easy, but the women take it on with grace, tenacity, a spirit of curiosity and a desire to build real understanding. I am so grateful to be a part of TechWomen!”

Heather Ramsey, Arezoo Miot and Beth Garriott at TechWomen Twitter Community Celebration.

Beth Garriott, Arezoo Miot, Lexi Curtice and Diana Guan pose for a photograph with the 2012 TechWomen at the Mozilla Farewell Celebration in San Francisco.

Heather Ramsey with 2012 TechWomen Emerging Leader at Mozilla Farewell Celebration in San Francisco. Photograph courtesy of Katy Dickinson.

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2 thoughts on “Emerging Leaders Inspire TechWomen Staff

  1. what to say?! how to say it?!
    when you are away from your family, your children, your culture and you feel no difference, no homesick …
    that was the “TECHWOMEN” experience, all the staff was so helpfull and do there best to make it easy to all the emerging leaders .. I know that’it was not some thiong easy to do and to keep all the time, but i havent feel personnely that the staff was tired , or want it to end …
    te last day, i can not explain what i feel, somme thong very big inthe heart and the spirit ..; toses women have marked me for ever ..; i cant tank thme all enough for all they done
    and welcome all the staff to Morocco and to Tunisia, in work trip or vacancies, they ‘ii find a freind every time wainting them!!!!

  2. Dear : Heather, Arezoo, lexi, Beth, Mezgon, Diana, Benedicte, Suzane.

    You were simply Wonderful, and we have learnt a lot during the Techwomen 2012
    the Techwomen team were talented they did every thing to allow us improve our skills
    but that’s not all, they even organized cultural events so we can learn about the American culture in addition to our cultural mentors as well.
    My experience was amazing,I could meet the Intelligent team of Machine Translation In Adobe, San Francisco where i spent 3 wonderful weeks, then a week in Baltimore where we attended the
    Grace Hopper event, then the last week in Washington DC, where we attended many workshops and then the amazing visit to the white house and the celebration in the State department.
    We never felt that the Techwomen team were tired, they were the first to come in the morning and the last to leave in the evening, i am grateful to all of you and thank you so much for giving me the possibility to have a such unique experience.

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