Civic Tech Sisters: a program for young female leaders from Ukraine and Germany

Страна: Европа;

Дедлайн: 03.05.2020



1. Civic Tech Sisters in a few words:

    Civic Tech Sisters is a program that brings together 20 mentees (10 from Germany and 10 from Ukraine) with 10 mentors (5 from Germany and 5 from Ukraine) to develop a mentee-mentor-relationship over the course of 6 months (June-October). The aim is to equip young aspiring female leaders with the knowledge of successful female leaders in the Civic Tech sphere and empower them to shape their own leadership role that lies ahead of them.

    The program will be kicked-off with digital meetings in the beginning of June leading the way to the digital learning space, where mentors and mentees will work together on the agreed topics and goals. They are supported by (external) input and an international network.

    Why join Civic Tech Sisters?

    • You will become part of a new network of females working within the Civic Tech sphere supporting each other!
    • You will experience a learning journey! For mentees and mentors alike, the program gives you space to reflect, learn and grow!
    • You will have access to an existing (inter-)national network of civic tech actors who strive for a better, more inclusive society.

    2. More detailed program description of Civic Tech Sisters:

      Civic Tech Sisters is a program where we digitally bring together and accompany mentors and mentees in collaboratively building a trustful relationship over the course of 6 months. After this digital mentoring phase we will come together in a joined event in Kyiv. During the process, we will help them share the mentees’ stories through an accompanied storytelling component..

      The mentees and mentors will together develop an individual learning plan and define individual goals of the digital mentorship phase.

      Topics of the mentor-mentee-process can include:

      • What is female leadership and how do I prepare myself for a leading role in the Civic Tech sphere as a woman?
      • How does networking work in the Civic Tech environment?
      • What’s there to prepare for a woman entering a tech world that is still dominated by men? What are the challenges women face, what are the opportunities and how to seize them?
      • What do I need to know when entering the application process for a leading position, how do I behave in salary negotiations or any other negotiations?
      • How can I build a stronger narrative that fosters diversity in my aspired field of work?
      • What else is there to learn from women who are already in leading positions in the Civic Tech sphere?
      • How can I bring together my private life and my career? What are my personal goals?

      To kick off the mentoring-phase and provide some guidance on the process, we will meet digitally in one mentees-only-meeting and then have a joined conference day together with the mentors.

      Then the digital mentorship process follows, which will conceptually be accompanied by the betterplace lab and consist of formats for knowledge exchange and experiences, peer-learning approaches and the involvement of (external) input depending on the needs of the mentees. Throughout the program, all program organisations will serve as contact persons and will assist in accessing an international network.

      A storytelling component accompanies the project: Through encouraging the mentees to write about their own story and editorial preparation by the programme organisations to present their stories via blog online we aim to raise awareness on female role models and strengthen the narrative that (young) female leaders are a much needed valuable resource in the Civic Tech sphere to create a diverse and creative working environment.

      At the end of the program (November 2020) we all will meet in Kyiv at a three-days event consisting of training, exchanging learnings and challenges and building even stronger network ties. The final day of this meeting will be a public half day conference which aims at promoting the Civic Tech sector, women in Tech sectors, sharing experience and knowledge within the Civic Tech and Tech sector.

      Facts and figures on the program:

      • open call and start of application phase: from Friday, 17th April until Sunday, May 3rd
      • selection and matchmaking process: beginning of May until end of May:
      • digital Kickoff mentees: Wednesday, 10.06.2020 14:00-18:00 (CEST)
      • joined digital conference day (mentors and mentees): Monday, 15.06.2020 times tbd, for we ask you to hold your schedule that day during regular working hours (9:00-18:00 CEST)
      • June-November: digital mentorship phase between mentees and mentors, accompanied by the program organisations (betterplace lab, Goethe Institute and 1991 Civic Tech Center) and external input givers
      • fall 2020 (October/November, dates tbd): a three-days meeting in Kyiv including all mentees and mentors, the three program organisations and external input givers. The travel expenses will be covered by the program.

      3. What we mean by Civic Tech and why do we need a program like Civic Tech Sisters:

        We believe in the potential of technology for social means. The term Civic Tech paints a pretty wide picture, so we’d like to take a moment to define the term as we understand it (with reference to Knight Foundation):

        Civic Technology – or Civic Tech for short – is technology that enables engagementparticipation or enhances the relationship between the people and the government (by enhancing citizen communications and public decision, improving government delivery of service, and infrastructure).
        Civic Tech solutions are often developed by tech-savvy civil society actors, who use their expertise aiming to improve public sphere. The topics include:

        • community organising (e.g. campaigning platforms like
        • online fundraising or crowd funding that enhances the public sphere (e.g. donation platforms like
        • place-based networks and community forums (e.g. secure social networks like diaspora*)
        • collaborative consumption (e.g. peer-to-peer sharing platforms like fairbnb)
        • government data (Open Data Initiatives like the German FragDenStaat or the Ukrainian Opendatabot).

        However, we do know that the potentials of tech are mostly used by male creators: you can find numbers and stories put together by betterplace lab of the situation worldwide here, the results of a qualitative approach conducted by betterplace lab in Germany here and a really great talk on the topic held by female hacker and advocate for more women in tech Fiona Krakenbürger here.

        There are some networks who support women to strive in the tech-world, to name a few: the worldwide Women in Tech network connecting women internationally, ZebrasUnite helping women to get started in the startup sector (not only, but often related to tech) and the Superrr lab offering a feminist tech fellowship that empowers activists, technologists and creatives of all sorts in imagining a digital future that benefits us all.

        We believe in strong networks and international cooperation to join forces and to bring together new perspectives. That is why with the mentorship program we wish to establish German Ukrainian platform for networks of women in Civic Tech. At the same time, the program shall foster networks within Ukraine and within Germany.

        We named the program "Civic Tech Sisters", because we believe that women need to support each other very well to be better represented in the Civic Tech scene.


        4. Who should apply for the program and how can I apply?

          • You are a female Civic Tech actor and are aspiring a leadership position in the future.
          • You are a woman working in Tech and are interested to be more engaged in the Civic Tech sector - within a project or even a new job

          We strongly encourage women from all parts of Ukraine and Germany to apply for the program, as we also wish to reach the areas besides the buzzing tech-headquarters of each country.

          Feel addressed? Great, you can apply here.

          The deadline for applications is on Sunday, May 3rd, 23:59 pm (CEST).

          When sending in your application even earlier you’d help us in structuring the process better – thank you!

          After your application form has reached us the program team will check if you are eligible for the program by the following criteria:

          • In what way does the applicant rate as an (aspiring) female leader in the Civic Tech sphere?
          • In what way do we think the participant can benefit from the mentoring programme?
          • In what way does the participant show the motivation to commit to the entire programme?

          You will hear from us by Monday, 25th May. Please check your inbox (also your spam folder that day) that evening so we can quickly proceed with the matchmaking process of assigning a suitable mentor to you.

          What’s in it for you as a mentee?

          • You will be matched with a female mentor from your field of interest and to establish a mentee-mentor-relationship for the time frame of 6 months.
          • You are at the start of a learning journey! We will provide you with relevant input, expertise and experts in your field of interest during the programme and bring you together with peers and experts that are facing similar challenges like you. You can grow together, share experiences and and build your own network that lasts beyond the program!
          • You will have access to an (inter-)national network of civic tech actors who strive for a better, more inclusive society:
            betterplace lab is a think-and-do-tank striving for a digitization that benefits humanity through research, experiments and collaboration. As part of Europe’s largest donation platform we have relevant expertise in the field of social change.

          Goethe-Institut Ukraine is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. We promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural and civil society exchange.

          1991 Incubator is a non-profit, equity-free and the biggest incubation program in Ukraine. 1991 Open Data Incubator supports startups, offering expertise, industry insights and knowledge via tailored incubation programs. In 1991, civic IT initiatives get a chance to become real startups and to build lasting collaborations with business, ministries and municipalities.

          What do I need to bring along as a mentee?

          • be able to participate in the dates of Kickoff Meeting, which are: Wednesday, 10.06.2020 14:00-18:00 (CEST) and Monday, 15.06.2020, some time within 9:00-18:00 (CEST)
          • be able to bring along the time to actively partake in the digital mentoring process: Time Frame and what happens in the Digital Space
          • being open to the idea to fly to Kyiv in the fall (dates tbc, expenses are covered by the program) to actively partake in a three-days meeting/conference
          • a lot of motivation to actively shape the mentoring process with your mentor, supported by the Civic Tech Sisters programme


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