Every year, TechWomen gives women in STEM from Africa and the Middle East the chance to jet off to Silicon Valley for a month-long mentorship programme where they will work with and gain knowledge from some of the world’s biggest IT companies to help them further their careers and inspire others.

TechWomen is an initiative by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), created to empower, connect, and support the next generation of women leaders in STEM.

This year’s programme is scheduled for November and if you’re a female in STEM who fits the criteria, you can apply for the 2015 intake now.

Women will be chosen from Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

During the programme participants get to visit companies such as Facebook, Twitter, ThoughtWorks and Ericsson, engaging in networking events and workshops about hardware, internet, science, software, telecommunications and green technology.

At the end of the programme, participants get to pay it forward and pass on their knowledge by conducting workshops for women and girls interested in tech in their respective home countries.

To qualify to join TechWomen you must fit the following criteria:

  • Be a woman with, at minimum, two years full-time professional experience in a STEM 
  • Have, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree/four year university degree or equivalent
  • Be proficient in written and spoken English
  • Be eligible to obtain a U.S. J-1 exchange visitor visa
  • Not have applied for an immigrant visa to the US or participated in a visa lottery in the past five
  • Not hold US citizenship or be a US legal permanent resident

Applications close 15th February, for more information and to submit your entry, visit TechWomen’s website.

[Source – Silicon Cape, Image – TechWomen]