In partnership with
SheSharp runs an annual Mentorship Program for community members, enabling professionals from different backgrounds to support people of underrepresented genders in the technology industry. The program provides opportunities to accelerate growth and entry into tech, and broadens our perspectives by celebrating and connecting to a diverse group of people.
Applications for our 2023 cohort will open in September.
How the program works
Mentorship is widely considered to accelerate career progression and have a positive effect on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Typical mentorship involves two people - both with an interest in an area or skillset, with the more knowledgeable person providing guidance and support to the other. Successful mentorship relationships are built on trust, respect, and vulnerability, and are mutually beneficial. While there are other styles of mentorship which we want to explore, this format is the core of our program - what we offer you is the opportunity to be paired with your BUD (your mentor or mentee) and receive tools and support for your mentorship journey.
We believe that effective mentorship is about you and what you need. In the past we have offered a very light framework, however we have discovered through feedback that more structure and guidance is important for some. Therefore, this year we will make strong recommendations of how to structure this program to set clear initial expectations, and pairs can opt to modify as suits them.
Step 1: Apply
We have two separate application tracks: Mentor and Mentee.
In your application, we'll ask you what you want out of the program, your skills and interests, and your availability. The strongest applications are the most specific: more information means a better match!
We are limiting the number of positions available, to maintain a high level of quality in the program.
You can apply here.
Step 2: Match
Based on information that you provide in your application, our team will try to find you a mentor/mentee match based on what you want out of the program, your skills and interests, and your availability.
During the matching period, we may contact potential matches to confirm that there is a skills match.
We'll let you know at the end of September if we've made a match. Then, we'll introduce you to your BUD, with some resources and suggestions for how to start.
Step 3: Launch
We'll use our (optional) Slack group to provide interactive support along the way, and a mix of Slack and email to contact you. You will be added to the mentor or mentee channel so that you can meet and support one another.
Need more support? SheSharp can provide extra learning opportunities and resources exclusively for our mentorship program participants. Resources are limited; please contact email@example.com for more details.
Please note that SheSharp is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and will prioritise applicants who are within +/-1 hour of Central European Time. However, if you're in our community and/or located elsewhere, you’re still encouraged to apply!
As a mentor
We welcome mentors from all demographics (including all genders) who are passionate about supporting people of underrepresented genders in our community.
Our mentors have skills and experience that would be beneficial to share with someone from an underrepresented background. Ideally, mentors are working in the tech industry: all technical and non-technical fields are eligible! Common domains of expertise include career guidance, coding, UX/UI design, data usage, product management, and people management.
As a mentee
Our mentee applications are open to all women, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals looking to grow their skills or career within the tech industry.
The strongest mentee applications include specifics about your mentorship goals. Do you want to level up your backend development skills? Gain more insight into feature prioritisation? Explore non-technical careers in the tech industry? Learn more about how to become an engineering manager? The more up-front you are about your goals, the better we can match you to the right mentor.
Apply to our next cohort
Coming September 2023
Early interest form opens
Interested participants can sign up to be notified of program launch
Application period is open
It's your time to apply to our 2023 mentorship program! In your application, we'll ask you what you want out of the program, your interests, and your availability.
Accepted applicants are notified of their matches
There will be 20 mentors and 20 mentees in our 2023 program. If you're accepted, we'll introduce you to your mentor/mentee. Otherwise, we'll let you know that we were unable to match you this year.
October - December
The program is about 3 months long, from October to December. We expect you to meet regularly with your mentor/mentee. SheSharp will provide you with resources, as well as coordinate regular check-ins and opportunities to network with other program participants.
If your match is no longer working, please let us know. We'll do our best to re-match you during this period.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I sponsor this scholarship?
SheSharp pledges to support its community by providing resources to help women and non-binary people enter, stay, and grow in tech. As we are completely volunteer-run, we rely on individual and company donations to fund programs like the Mentorship Program. With your sponsorship, we can offer program participants resources like e-learning licenses, books, and software to aid in their mentorship journey.
If you represent a company or entity that is interested in supporting this initiative, apply on our partners page. We'd love to feature you as a sponsor on this page and elsewhere in our community!
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is the process of influencing, guiding, and advising another person in something that you are more knowledgeable about. While some coaching may be used, it is different to coaching as there is an expectation that a mentor can teach a mentee about a particular topic – any topic!
What are the benefits of having a mentor?
The benefits of having a mentor have been well researched and can lead to accelerated career advancement. Some of the benefits a mentor can provide include:
Expert knowledge and wisdom
An alternative point of view
Encouragement and support
A sounding board for ideas
Build your network
What are the benefits of being a mentor?
Being a mentor can be great for personal development – not only does helping others increase happiness, you will also get a lot out of the experience. For example:
Developing leadership skills
Building interpersonal skills
Learning new perspectives and building empathy
Broadening your network
About the application
Can I be located anywhere?
Yes, applications are open to everyone around the world! SheSharp is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and will prioritise applicants based in the European region, and others who are within +/-1 hour of Central European Time. However, if you’re outside of Europe, you’re still encouraged to apply!
Who can apply for a mentor?
Anyone who is an underrepresented gender (e.g. woman, non-binary) and is looking to grow their skills or career within the tech industry.
Who can apply to be a mentor?
Anyone who supports people from underrepresented demographics in the tech industry and has skills that would be beneficial to anyone within those groups. Ideally working within the tech industry, however not necessarily a limitation with the right experience and skill set. We welcome mentors from all demographics, including all genders, as we are striving for diversity within our mentorship groups, in line with our mission and values.
Can I be a mentor and a mentee?
Absolutely! We recognize that we all have growth areas that we can benefit from having a mentor, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a valuable skill set and could help someone else.
The deadline has passed – can I still apply?
While we can’t guarantee anything, we can add you to a waiting list and notify you if we have an available place.
I know someone else who I think would love to have or be a mentor!
Please ask them to sign up here, or you can connect us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to have more people involved.
About the program
What is the commitment I need to make?
We ask that you commit to a minimum of 3 months (October-December 2022) so that you and your mentee are able to get value out of this program, as we believe it will take that amount of time to build a good working relationship and make progress. We understand that circumstances may change however — should that happen, please let us and your mentor/mentee know as soon as possible so that we can try to arrange a new match.
The specific amount of time required depends on the working agreement between you both, and may vary between the mentee and mentor, however expect a baseline minimum of 2 hours bi-weekly, for meetings and preparation.
In general, we expect that you will:
Take advantage of the resources provided
Make time to meet regularly (bi-weekly unless otherwise decided together)
Invest time with your match to establish clear objectives and ways of working together early on
Communicate clearly and openly along the way about what is working and what needs to change with each other
Ask for help along the way, if you need it!
Respond to program check-ins, and share your feedback so that we can expand and continuously improve the program
These expectations are designed to help you get the most out of this program.
What are you looking for in a mentor?
Ultimately, we are looking for anyone who cares about helping someone else grow and will make the commitment to do that, as per their mentees needs and the program setup.
Skillsets in-demand (but not exclusive to):
Software Engineering (back-end and front-end development)
Data usage (e.g. science and analysis)
UX specialties (e.g. design, copy, research)
Experience in finding a job or getting a promotion
Will I definitely get a mentor or a mentee?
While we will do our best to find you a match, we cannot guarantee that we will find someone for you. It will be dependent on how many people sign up and whether there is a skills match. There is a possibility that we may find someone who is only a partial match for you — in that case we will provide you with their anonymous profile and you can opt in or out based on that.
What if I don’t work well with my mentor or mentee?
We don’t expect that every match will be perfect – either based on schedule, goals, or personalities. We are taking measures to do our best to setup ideal matches at the beginning through our questionnaire and sharing potential match profiles early. If you find that your match is not compatible, please let us know and we will try to find you an alternative.
Is this online or in-person?
The programme has been designed for online participation, however if meeting up in-person is an option for you and a preference then we encourage it! All of our interaction, communication, and networking opportunities will be online to make it as accessible as possible to everyone.
Is this for software developers only?
No! We know that the tech industry is made up of many, many roles beyond software development and we support our community growing in any of them. However, this program is focused on people who are in the tech industry and so expect our mentors and mentees to have (or want to) worked in it.
We recognise that people outside of Tech have valuable skillsets that would be helpful to our community (e.g. coaching, recruitment), so while we are unlikely to match them with our mentees for this 3 month program, we would be interested in having you support the program and cohort in other ways!