Creating meaningful connections since 2013.
In 2013, Anna-Katrina Shedletsky was a product design engineer at Apple, and one of the few women in her organization. After reviewing recruiting statistics for the group, she became determined to figure out how to hire more women engineers. She pitched management on a program designed with two efforts in mind:
- Learn more about the experiences of women university students in the job market
- Assist in their efforts to find internships, interview competently, and get many great job offers
The first year, Anna partnered with Stanford University Society of Women Engineers to identify a small group of students to be matched with Apple mentors. They engaged in informal mentorship throughout the year, helping students with resumes, interview prep, and negotiating internship and job offers. It was deemed a success.
Between 2013 and 2015, the program grew at Stanford to include over 40 participants. When Anna left Apple in 2015 to start Instrumental, she felt strongly that the program belonged to the students and continued the program without Apple sponsorship. The Bay Area Women in STEM Mentorship Program (WISMP) was born.
As an independent group, Anna was able to draw on a larger base of mentors from more diverse technical backgrounds not previously represented by Apple’s employee pool. She also scaled the program from Stanford, to UC Berkeley and San Jose State University. This academic year, there are over 150 participants across the Bay Area, all working together to give women studying STEM fields the best start possible.