#TechWomen17 at Northgate

#TechWomen17 at Northgate

Northgate is thankful to participate in the TechWomen program.

This fall, as we have done since the TechWomen program was launched in 2011, Northgate welcomed emerging women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to join us in our Oakland office for five weeks of mentoring and professional exchange.


TechWomen is an international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State that empowers, connects, and supports early to mid-career leaders from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East by providing them the access and opportunity needed to advance their careers, pursue their dreams, and inspire women and girls in their home communities. Northgate is among more than 30 leading tech and engineering companies in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley that host 100 women from 20 countries for this intensive program.


This year Northgate had the privilege of mentoring two emerging leaders: Ijeoma Vincent-Akpu of Nigeria and Dina Shaikhislam of Kazakhstan. Ijeoma and Dina worked alongside Northgate staff and their professional mentors, Maile Smith and Nancy Hendrickson, on projects and professional development activities in line with their individual interests and goals. In-house workshops included presentations and discussions on environmental remediation, water resource evaluations, modeling and data visualization, risk assessment, and data collection using drones.


Ijeoma is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Port Harcourt Nigeria, where her research focuses on dynamics and impacts of oil and related pollutants in the Niger Delta, coastal resource management, and climate change adaptation. Ijeoma’s long-term goal is to perform impact assessments and pollution monitoring to benefit wetland restoration and aquaculture, and to apply her expertise to improve community engagement and education around these issues. While at Northgate, Ijeoma created an engagement plan framework as the first step of establishing an environmental education center to increase scientific and environmental literacy in the southern region of Nigeria.


Dina is passionate about renewable energy and green technologies and is currently a research assistant at an innovative science and technology firm in Astana, Kazakhstan. Her long-term goal is to get involved in cap and trade legislation, carbon and emission trading, and to attain the skills to become an effective project manager. While at Northgate, Dina conducted a research project comparing water-cooled chillers and air-cooled chillers, evaluating water consumption, maintenance, energy use, and space requirements.


Outside of their professional mentorship, TechWomen participants attended workshops, seminars, facility tours, and cultural events. Northgate mentors and mentees toured theMolecular Foundry, Advanced Light Source, FLEXLAB, and National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, met with the team at StopWaste.org to learn about their recycling and composting programs, participated in The State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference, received an in-depth tour of Enthalpy Analytical laboratory, and visited wetland and upland restoration areas in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood where Literacy for Environmental Justice is successfully engaging youth and community members in ecological stewardship and environmental justice through an educational eco-center, native plant nursery, and workforce development programs.


Each TechWomen country cohort also developed and pitched an action plan to address a socioeconomic challenge in their home country, and five teams received seed grants to help implement their project upon returning home.

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The program concluded with the delegation traveling to Washington, DC, where the group visited the World Bank and the State Department, and attended presentations and roundtable discussions with directors and subject matter experts from the National Science Foundation, Astrophysics Division of NASA, Department of Energy, and State Department Office of Global Women’s Issues and Office of the Science and Technology Advisor. At the program’s farewell luncheon, TechWomen were treated to a presentation from Alyson Grunder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Educational and Cultural Affairs, and keynote address from Dr. Gale Allen, Acting Chief Scientist at NASA.


Thank you, Dina and Ijeoma, for a wonderful and rewarding #TechWomen17 at Northgate!

The application is now open for @TechWomen 2018!

Please help spread the word to women in STEM in Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East!

The TechWomen program has enriched all of us at Northgate and we are profoundly grateful to be a part of the program.  Please feel welcome to contact Maile Smith if you’d like to learn more about professional mentorship through the TechWomen program, and follow the success stories of #TWimpact at www.techwomen.org and @TechWomen on Twitter.