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Calling all women: Organisation aims for diversity in startups

Startmate’s women-only Fellowship is opening applications across Australia and New Zealand as it sets its sights on gender diversity in startups.

The Fellowship provides a pathway for up to 100 ambitious women who are eager to find their place in a leading startup through mentorship, networking and skill-building. Mentors from leading local and international companies will provide guidance to the Fellows with one on one coaching, ‘ask me anything’ sessions, optional internships, workshops and events.

Startmate’s head of the Fellowship, Sophia Witherington, says the initiative is designed to help women discover where their skill sets lie and understand their value in a new industry.

“We’re on a mission to transform the face of tech and startups across Australia and New Zealand, and the Fellowship is our way of supercharging that goal.”

Following its mission to have 300 women in startup roles by the end of 2021, Startmate’s first women-only Fellowship saw a two times increase in applications on the previous programme. The recent Spring 2020 programme reached an 87 percent increase in applications with more than 600 women applying for 100 positions.

Applying for the programme requires no particular background, just an ambition to be a part of the future economy.

Witherington says the women who apply come from all walks of life.

“Whether you’re a mother returning to the workforce or don’t quite fit the mould, we want to help you find your dream job in a startup.”

The phenomenon of Startmate’s women-only Fellowship is part of the organisation’s bigger push to move the needle on diversity.

“Achieving gender parity at the top of the Accelerator application funnel is not the result of a single campaign to increase the number of women applicants for any particular cohort. It’s a result of the cumulative efforts and intention of the Australian and New Zealand tech sector across many years,” says Startmate’s Principal Lauren Capelin.

Applications for the Autumn cohort run between March and April, which you can register for here.

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