Women hold just 11 percent of executive positions in Silicon Valley’s tech companies, which is an unacceptable statistic for any industry in the 21st century. Hoping to redress the balance, we’ve recently come across Glassbreakers — a peer to peer mentorship community for professional women working in tech. The site offers an online platform where female techies are matched with peers, in what CTO Lauren Mosenthal calls “a high tech version of the ‘I think you should meet’ introduction email.”
Prospective members apply via their LinkedIn account and an algorithm extracts details such as education background, skills and past employers from their profile. The platform is currently in Beta, but when it launches later this month, the 1,200 global users who have already signed up will then be matched to mentors from within the network. Founders Eileen Carey and Lauren Mosenthal discovered that women of a similar age and position make the best mentors because they have the most complete understanding of their match’s context and progression, so connections are made based on this logic. Members can choose to accept or reject potential meets, and when both parties accept, they are invited to connect offline.
Glassbreakers hopes to provide an online space where women can forge mutually beneficial relationships and engage in conversation and debate with their industry colleagues. The hope is that by supporting each other and pooling their expertise and skills they can begin to break Silicon Valley’s glass ceiling. The founders aim to expand into other industries soon — where should they head next?