Manchester Digital has launched a new mentoring programme to help women in tech grow their careers.

As we celebrate Ada Lovelace Day this week, the new MentorHER programme will offer six months of mentoring for women in their early careers.

Katie Gallagher (pictured), managing director of Manchester Digital, said: “We’re really proud to launch our new MentorHER programme. Research shows that women leave the tech industry at a rate of 45% more than men. On top of this, McKinsey research found that only 86 women are promoted for every 100 men.

“Our industry members have been telling us that one of their ongoing challenges with increasing diversity is to retain women, not just recruiting them.

“So at a time when we’re trying to encourage women into the tech industry, we also need to ensure women have the support they need to stay within the industry.”

The independent trade body for the tech and digital industry across the North West already runs the Digital Her programme, which supports women in tech throughout their whole career, as well as encouraging young women to consider a career in tech. 

Launched by Manchester Digital in 2018, it claims to have reached almost 4,000 women and girls, supported 200 schools and colleges, and created a community of more than 230 Digital Her ‘real role models’.

The MentorHER programme is an offshoot of Digital Her and aims to help young women develop their career. MentorHER will consist of a number of practical and impactful workshops and a six-month mentor programme will be offered to women who will be matched with suitable partners. 

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Alison Ross, operations and culture director at Auto Trader UK, one of the sponsors of MentorHER, said: “When I look back at my own journey as a leader, I can see how helpful it would have been to have a mentor who understood the challenges facing women in technology during my early career. 

“Mentoring is a great way for women to expand their networks and gain advice from other women with experience in the industry. We’re really pleased to sponsor and support this crucial programme.”

MentorHER asks mentees to commit to becoming a mentor when they have progressed in order to ensure women, as a community, pay it forward. In the future, there will also be a number of other six-month mentorships, including schemes for university students, career changers and middle to senior career progressors. 

Digital Her is running two events to celebrate Ada Lovelace Day tomorrow (Tuesday), with one invite-only breakfast event and one evening role model meetup in Circle Square, Manchester which you can register for here for free

Ada Lovelace Day was founded in 2009 and is an international celebration of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. Ada Lovelace is known as the first computer programmer.

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