Women Influence Chicago Accelerator
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There are currently less than twenty female CTOs in the Chicago tech community.  By investing in the next generation of female technologists, the ITA and Women Influence Chicago believe we can significantly increase that number.

 

 

The Women Influence Chicago Accelerator promotes the advancement of female technologists through a four-month cohort that ensures women will learn to grow and advocate for themselves, leading to parity in their companies.

The Women Influence Chicago Accelerator is designed for mid-career female-identifying technologists with clear technical functions across:

  • Software engineering and development
  • Data engineering and data science
  • UX/UI
  • Technical product management

While the average years of experience will range from 3 - 8, the most important factor is that participants will have been exhibiting exceptional promise in their current roles but need support in how to translate that promise into promotions or increased responsibilities.


Get Started

Apply online, download the brochure for more information or c
ontact us at accelerator@illinoistech.org with any questions.

 

FAQs

What is the Women Influence Chicago Accelerator?

The Women Influence Chicago Accelerator is a career accelerator that promotes the advancement of female technologists through a four-month cohort that ensures women will learn to grow and advocate for themselves, leading to parity in their companies. 

The program is broken down into four components:

  • Classroom Learning (40%): Participants will have four monthly classes, one each month. The program will culminate in a career pathing discussion with CTOs and VPs of Engineering.
  • Facilitated Forum (20%): Participants will learn how to act as agents for their companies by developing skills beyond their functions, while also developing a sustainable support system outside of their companies through a peer-driven two-hour monthly forum.
  • Mentoring (20%): Each participant will meet with 2-3 mentors, and choose a “Super Mentor” to meet with regularly before and after the program.
  • Coaching (20%): These 30-minute monthly sessions are designed to help the participants advance their personal goals and receive formal “Career Coaching”.

 

Who is eligible to participate in the program? 

The Women Influence Chicago Accelerator is designed for mid-career female-identifying technologists with clear technical functions across:

  • Software engineering and development
  • Data engineering and data science
  • UX/UI
  • Technical product management

While the average years of experience will range from 3 - 8, the most important factor is that participants will have been exhibiting exceptional promise in their current roles but need support in how to translate that promise into promotions or increased responsibilities. 


How do I apply? 

Applying is easy! Just fill out the application here


What is the application deadline? 

The application deadline is 5:00 pm on February 28, 2020. 


When will applicants be notified if they have been accepted into the program? 

Applicants will be notified by the end of the week of March 6, 2020. 


How much does the program cost? 

The program is $3,000 for ITA members and $5,000 for non-ITA members. 


How do participants pay for the program?  

Participants may either be sponsored by their companies or cover the costs themselves. 

Select applicants may be eligible for our scholarship program, which supports up to two women of color who cannot cover the costs of the program. Please contact us at accelerator@illinoistech.org for more information about the scholarship program. 


What are the planned dates for the program? 

The program kicks off on March 23rd from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and ends on June 25th. Participants will work with their mentors to schedule their final mentor meetings in January 2020. 

 

What is the time commitment

You can expect to meet with your cohort twice a month for 2 - 3 hours in the morning, typically 9:00 - 11:00 or 12:00.  You will also have a 30 minute coaching call once a month and the opportunity to meet with your mentor each month, as well.


Where does the program take place? 

All classes take place in The Loop. We are collaborating with a number of partners who are offering to host our cohorts and expose them to companies outside of their own, but we are being mindful of keeping all of our locations close together to eliminate any inconvenient commuting. 


How are mentors chosen for the program? 

Mentors are invited to participate in the program based on cohort and program needs. The majority of our mentors have technical expertise and are in C-Suite roles. However, non-technical mentors may participate and have the opportunity to match to cohort members looking for support in other areas. 

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, email us at accelerator@illinoistech.org with your areas of mentoring expertise. 


How do mentors participate in the program?

Mentors will share more information about themselves, which we will share with program participants and use for mentor matching. Each cohort member will meet with 2-3 potential mentors at the beginning of the program and determine separately who they would like to meet with each month for the duration of the program. They will work with their mentors to coordinate their meetings. 

Each mentor will have the opportunity to attend our mentorship reception on September 24th where they will meet the cohort participants and start building relationships. For mentors who can’t make the reception, they will still have the opportunity to match to participants. 

It’s possible that not every mentor will match to program participants depending on need areas and availability, but they will all have the opportunity to meet with the cohort at the reception and a final career pathing event at the end of the program. 


Who is responsible for the program? 

The Illinois Technology Association and the Women Influence Chicago Advisory Board developed and launched the program as part of their ongoing initiatives to promote technological advancement in Chicago, especially for women accelerating their careers. 

We have partnered with Ethos, a culture consulting meets diversity, equity, inclusion firm for the development and execution of the program. Alida Miranda-Wolff, CEO of Ethos, served as the curriculum designer for the program and will act as a facilitator, forum lead and coach for the program.
 

 

Get in touch

20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 1200
Chicago, IL 60606

PH: 1.312.435.2805

Email: collaborate@illinoistech.org