A new program that will help women in the technology industry connect with peers and mentors, called Women Rising, launches tonight in Detroit.
Women Rising founder Kate Catlin, a developer for Detroit Labs, a Detroit-based mobile app developer, first started to notice that women in technology industry were having trouble forming meaningful connections with other women at her former job.
“I started throwing networking events, and I would hear the same complaints,” Catlin says. “(Complaints such as) ‘I don’t feel like I have real conversations’ or ‘I don’t feel like I met anyone who I could be mentored by.’”
When Catlin moved to Detroit Labs, which offers chat rooms and events for women in the company, she noticed there was more solidarity between the women, which gave her the idea for Women Rising.
“If women felt like they had support, they had each other, and they weren’t alone and someone was looking out for them, then a lot more would stay in the industry and hopefully rise to the top,” Catlin says. Within the tech industry, there is about a 40 percent drop out rate for women within 10 years, she says.
Additionally, Catlin says Women Rising is “a combination of women’s networking groups and online dating.” The organization uses an algorithm to match women based on their career goals, years of experience, and industries. Women Rising also pairs members with mentors. Mentors include Bridget Russo, marketing director of Shinola, and Jen Rademacher, CIO of Fathead, among others.
While tonight’s event has sold out, interested women can get involved with the organization by going to WomenRising.co.