The year 2014 marks the forth year CSR’s Athellina Athsani has been participating in the STEM program known as TechWomen. TechWomen empowers, connects, and supports the next generation of women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from Africa and the Middle East by pairing them with Silicon Valley female technologists and entrepreneurs. Athellina, Director of Strategic Planning, who is based in the San Jose office, is matched with Sherin Abdel Hamid [pictured left] from Egypt as a cultural mentor. Sherin is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada with a research focus on intelligent transportation systems (ITS); she’s also an Assistant Lecturer at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt. The role of the cultural mentor is to facilitate activities showcasing American work, lifestyle and culture. During the 5-week program, Athellina and Sherin spent time discussing career paths and wireless technology advances, while also finding time to enjoy sightseeing and the sampling the diversity of local cuisine.
TechWomen is an initiative of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Launched in 2011 by Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, TechWomen supports America’s commitment toward advancing the rights and participation of women and girls around the world by enabling them to reach their full potential in the tech industry. Through mentorship and exchange, TechWomen strengthens participants’ professional capacity, increases mutual understanding between key networks of professionals, and expands girls’ interest in STEM careers by exposing them to female role models.