About The Accelerator
The Women Influence Chicago (WIC) Accelerator is a four-month mentoring and education program devoted to empowering women in the workplace, propelling young leaders into roles of influence, and creating parity in the business world.
1871’s WIC Accelerator pairs participants with a team of mentors, coaches, and educators that serve at the top levels of their industries, from the C-Suite to the boardroom.
This year we’re excited to expand our program to include two simultaneous cohorts for both technical and non-technical professionals, which will run from March to June.
The program is broken down into four components:
- Classroom Learning: Participants will attend four monthly classes, one each month. The program will culminate in a career pathing discussion with various C-suite professionals.
- Facilitated Forum: Participants will learn how to act as agents for their companies by developing skills beyond their functions, while also developing a sustainable support system outside of their companies through a peer-driven, two-hour monthly forum.
- Mentoring: Each participant will meet with 2-3 mentors and choose a “Super Mentor” to partner with regularly before and after the program.
- Coaching: These 30-minute monthly sessions are designed to help participants advance their personal goals and receive formal “Career Coaching.”
Eligibility & Cohort Tracks
The WIC Accelerator is designed for mid-career women-identifying professionals. While the average years of experience will range from 3-8, the most important factor is that participants exhibit exceptional promise in their current roles and would benefit from support in how to translate that promise into promotions or increased responsibilities.
We are pleased to be able to expand our program this year to include both technical and non-technical professionals. These cohorts will run simultaneously, and program content will be tailored to each business area.
Designed for female technologists with clear technical functions across the following areas:
- Software engineering and development
- Data engineering and data science
- Technical product management
Designed for female employees working in external facing roles, including professionals that work with clients, customers, or outside stakeholders across the following areas:
- Marketing and communications
- Customer success
When will applicants be notified if they have been accepted into the program?
Applicants will be notified by [March 26, 2021].
How much does the program cost?
The program is $3,000 for 1871 members and $5,000 for non-members.
How do participants pay for the program?
Participants may either be sponsored by their companies or cover the costs themselves.
Select applicants may be eligible for our scholarship program, which supports women of color who cannot cover the costs of the program. Please contact us at [email protected] for more information about the scholarship program.
What are the planned dates for the program?
The program kicks off in April and ends in July.
What is the time commitment?
You can expect to meet with your cohort twice a month for 2 – 3 hours in the morning, typically 9:00 – 11:00 or 12:00. You will also have a 30 minute coaching call once a month and the opportunity to meet with your mentor each month, as well.
Where does the program take place?
This cohort will be 100% virtual!
How are mentors chosen for the program?
Mentors are invited to participate in the program based on cohort and program needs. The majority of our mentors are in C-Suite roles.
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, email us at [email protected] with your areas of mentoring expertise.
How do mentors participate in the program?
Mentors will share more information about themselves, which we will share with program participants and use for mentor matching. Each cohort member will meet with 2-3 potential mentors at the beginning of the program and determine separately who they would like to meet with each month for the duration of the program. They will work with their mentors to coordinate their meetings.
It’s possible that not every mentor will match to program participants depending on need areas and availability, but they will all have the opportunity to meet with the cohort at the reception and a final career pathing event at the end of the program.
Who is responsible for the program?
1871 and the Women Influence Chicago Advisory Board developed and launched the program as part of their ongoing initiatives to promote technological advancement in Chicago, especially for women accelerating their careers.
We have partnered with Ethos, a culture consulting meets diversity, equity, inclusion firm for the development and execution of the program.