In celebration of International Women’s Day, a networking reception for the mentors and mentees in the “UNESCO-UWI Walking in Her Footsteps 2023” mentorship program was held on March 9, 2023. This is the second staging of the program which is being dubbed “Walking in Her Footsteps: Her Excellence, My Example”.
Twenty-seven girls from the University of the West Indies Mona Campus (UWI) and the University of Technology in Jamaica (UTECH), studying in mathematics, physics, life sciences, chemistry, geography and geology, biotechnology, computer sciences and applied sciences were paired with female STEM professionals from the private and public sectors.
Through support from UNESCO the program this year will run over a 5-month period with 4 major components:
- Networking reception where mentees meet their mentors and document their expectations of the program and each other.
- Capacity-building workshops for mentors and mentees focused on “Work Life Balance for Women in STEM Leadership” and “Science Communication.”
- Shadowing where girls will spend 1 week in the world of their mentors, working in the field/lab or office, getting firsthand exposure to the different dimensions of her work, and getting exposure to new technical skills. Mentees will also learn to network with team members in the industry of their mentors and will learn how to navigate both personal and professional barriers to achieve excellence in STEM.
- Mentees and mentors in the cohort will work together in 2 groups to develop and implement community-based STEM projects. Guidance for the development and execution of the project proposals will come from UWI/UTECH and UNESCO experts.