26th May, we finally met – virtually for now – the cohort of the #TF4Women Fellowship Programme 2020!
16 women. 10 nationalities. 1 orthodontist, 4 with master degrees, 7 with undergraduate degrees, 2 with two years of undergraduate studies and 1 with an undergraduate entry level of education. These are the background of the Fellows of the third edition of #TF4Women 2020 Fellowship Programme.
The Fellows bring remarkable dynamism, experiences, qualities, and resilience to this flagship programme of Techfugees, dedicated to accelerate the professional inclusion and have the Fellows land a job in the tech sector. Needless to say, the programme is made richer thanks to their participation and not the contrary.
The programme’s benefit is multifold. It accompanies women to find a qualified job in six months. It also bridges the gender gap in the tech industry thus contributing to gender equality, provides the French tech sector employers with skilled employees and allows all stakeholders to engage meaningfully to advance social justice.
A virtual kick off
Due to the current pandemic, the programme was launched via a virtual onboarding of the Fellows on 26th of May and will be done remotely until September.
It is still to be seen if we continue fully remote after September. Techfugees will regularly review and follow governmental advice to ensure all sanitary measures are respected and that no one is exposed to any risk. However, what’s certain is that over the next 6 months, the Fellows will strengthen their skills, competences in the field of their choice:
- data analysis;
- digital marketing & communication;
- digital project management;
- Web development.
These choices may change as Fellows discover and meet professionals from the different fields.
The first mentoring session will be held virtually on the 4th of June and first training on the 11th. From that point onwards, every other week, a training and mentoring session will be held for fellows to strengthen their skill sets and confirm career choices.
The goal of the programme, as outlined before, is to accelerate the professional inclusion. In that sense, through the programme, Techfugees aims to further strengthen existing capacities and resilience, and allow all to regain the social, cultural and economical capital that was lost due to their forceful displacement.
A programme victim of its success!
A total of 59 applications were received over a period of 6 weeks which is a bit more than last year and only involved 3 past/previous applicants. Afterwards, 43 interviews were organised in the first round to confirm applicants’ information. A further 27 interviews were proposed in the second round. Through this rigorous vetting process they demonstrated their capabilities, dedication, willingness and motivation which resulted in the 16 women becoming Fellows of the programme. We wish we could accept asylum seekers and people with less than B1 French level to be part of the programme. However, previous experience and our limited resources does not allow for this for now.
During the interviews they were asked to detail what kind of profile, character, experiences they would like their mentors to possess. Based on these criteria, they were matched with a mentor. The ultimate role of the mentor is to guide the fellow in their career choice & job search while providing an understanding of local culture and being sources of inspiration as well as serve as a catalyst for engaging activities.
Furthermore, a designated trainer has been matched with two fellows each, who will provide technical expertise in Fellows’ chosen domain. They will be on hand to assist the Fellows to achieve job specific skills and explain different online mooc courses.
Although most Fellows have a B2 level in French, they will be able to further bolster their fluency by attending professional, sound quality French classes and would be able to regularly exchange in French with a designated language buddy.
October onwards, they would have the opportunity to participate in customised networking and recruitment sessions in order to maximise their chances to land a job of their chosen field.
They have entrusted Techfugees and enriched the programme by choosing to be a part of it. Now it is up to Techfugees and all stakeholders involved to ensure their objectives, aspirations are met in the next few months by accompanying them in a professional, dignified manner.
Huge thank you to our sponsors without which this program could not have happened