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WP Includes Launches Women in WordPress Mentorship Program

photo credit: Brodie Vissers

WP Includes is a new initiative that launched this week with the goal of improving equal representation of women at global WordPress companies. It was founded by Human Made COO Siobhan McKeown and XWP Director of Engineering Francesco Marano.

“I’ve been in WordPress a long time and I’ve met a lot of talented women but not enough in leadership roles. It’s time to change that,” McKeown said.

The website states the founders’ mission in launching the initiative:

Disappointed by the lack of representation of women in leadership roles at companies in the WordPress ecosystem we’ve decided to do something about it.

We want to drastically increase representation of women in leadership roles at WordPress companies. We will do this by mentoring and supporting women to take the next step in their careers.

WP Includes is recruiting women leaders who are C-Level or Directors
at a WordPress company to volunteer as mentors and build a supportive network of mentees.

The mentorship program lasts five months and calls for mentees/mentors goes out twice a year in September and March. Mentors commit to meet with mentees for a 1:1 on a regular basis and support them in achieving their goals. Mentee applicants are required to be working at a business in the WordPress ecosystem and actively developing their careers.

WP Includes is accepting sponsorships from companies with some rigorous requirements:

  • Acknowledge gender disparity and a lack of representation in your organization, wherever it exists.
  • Proactively address gender disparity in your leadership and executive roles.
  • When senior roles become available, actively seek to place women within those roles.
  • Support women within their career in your organization, working to ensure that any gender-related barriers are removed.
  • Create opportunities to showcase women leaders in your organisation so that they can act as role models for future leaders.

Supporting organizations can also contribute by sharing open roles within the network and by providing mentorship to future leaders who may potentially be considered for leadership roles in the sponsoring organizations. This is effectively changing representation from the inside out with cooperating organizations contributing to the cultivation of the leaders they need in order to purse more diverse leadership teams.

Prospective mentees, mentors, and sponsors can apply on the WP Includes website.