Women in Technical CommunicationYou read about the history of WomeninTechComm.org (#womeninTC) on the about there at the main site. But the short version is there is a steering committee that got together to work on a grassroots, across institutions mentoring initiative. I was fortunate to be invited, and it has been some of the most rewarding work that I’ve done. We were honored with the Diana Award which is award by the  Association of Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group (SIG) on the Design of Communication (DOC) SIGDOC (Special Interest Group on Design of Communication).

The proceedings paper( SigDoc_Proceedings15_v2 *.doc) of our Diana Award keynote outlines our position that existing mentorship models are limiting, and for our work, we’ve begun to create our own mentoring model that is recursive and participatory. This is a great example of our the traditional divisions of our job (teaching, research and service) are no longer adequate in the current higher education landscape. Our work building the mentoring network clearly illustrates how service has become research. This is a representation of the dimensions to our model, and we will continue to test and to update it as we gather additional data.


mentoring model

Figure 1: visual representation of the dimensions of #womenintc mentoring model

The key things we are working on is building a database of faculty that lists their experiences and practices so that if someone has a problem and they need to talk to someone they can find someone who has experience with their issue. We also working toward building out the resources that will include podcasts of Dial A Mentor topics based on the topics submitted by our participants at numerous events. We are still planning face-to-face events at different conferences (e.g., CPTSC, ATTW, SIGDOC) and we are starting to pilot virtual meetings around specific topics. We currently host #MentorMonday on twitter and are starting a regular blog schedule (written by yours truly) around topics currently in the news or on topics that have been submitted by participants.

If you wonder how much work goes into this initiative, then the answer is we typically meet every other week for at least an hour. As we closer to events, we meet every week. In between we continue to talk to one another, and more importantly, we talk to a lot of you. As I recently blogged, this is a passion project for me.

As we continue to build out the network with resources and continue to plan events, anyone wanting to get involved can contact any member of the steering committee.

Original steering committee members (l-r): Michelle Eble, Natasha Jones, Kristen Moore, Lisa Meloncon, Liza Potts, Michele Simmons

Original steering committee members (l-r): Michelle Eble, Natasha Jones, Kristen Moore, Lisa Meloncon, Liza Potts, Michele Simmons