Fintech firm Melio launches mentor program for female developers

The program aims to shorten the significant gender gap in the high-tech development space.

Female developers take part in the MentorMe program (photo credit: DANA TAMARI)
Female developers take part in the MentorMe program
(photo credit: DANA TAMARI)

The fintech firm Melio has launched MentorMe, a mentoring program for female developers that brings together highly experienced women with women who are just beginning their careers in order to discuss the challenges they face and share knowledge. Fifty women out of 150 applicants were selected to participate as mentors and mentees, with each senior engineer being assigned a junior engineer to mentor.

In addition to one-on-one meetings with their mentors, each mentee will participate in meet-ups focusing on different topics that can help their professional and personal development as engineers. Every meet-up will feature an influential woman from the industry who will share their experiences and knowledge, including Karin Moscovici, a former VP of R&D at Riskified; Yael Karov, an entrepreneur and director of engineering at Google AI; and Inbal Orpaz, a journalist and founder of the #WomaninTech initiative.

For those responsible for hiring and recruiting suitable developers, the issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are critical.

“These are ‘glasses’ that we as HR managers and company leaders need to wear all the time – in job interviews, for recruitment, conversations in corridors, department meetings, training, promotions, termination of employment, salary updates and more,” said Smadar Weizman, Melio’s VP of people.

“We begin with a regular sampling of the gender balance [women account for about half of Melio’s workforce] or examining where we work on the issue of minorities who are under-represented in the industry. This sampling also includes an examination of wage disparities in the process of surveying salaries, promotions and participation in training with significant added value,” explained Weizman.

 Women in tech - illustrative (credit: Wikimedia Commons) Women in tech - illustrative (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

“We also make decisions, like recruiting women in advanced stages of pregnancy, with the understanding that they will go on maternity leave soon, as we are interested in their skills for the long term.”

At an event focused on promoting women in tech earlier this year, Dana Alexandrovich, deputy CEO and head of the marketing and strategic planning division at Microsoft Israel, explained the importance of diversity in the workplace.

“When there is mental diversity, the business results are better,” she said.

“At Microsoft Israel, we currently have a representation of 66% women, but it does not end with representation,” added Alexandrovich. “It is important that everyone feels significant and that their opinion is heard in order to lead the company in significant directions for our customers and partners in their digital transformation.”

The program, which is hosted in Melio’s offices, was created by Melio for the greater community of female programmers and not just for the company’s employees, in recognition of the great shortage of women in technological positions, especially in tech management positions.

According to a report from Power In Diversity, only 23.3% of management positions in Israeli start-ups are held by women. On average, small-scale start-ups have 30.8% female representation at all levels, while mid-to large-scale businesses have 33% and 36% representation, respectively.

According to a press release on the subject, Melio hopes this program will “help solve a problem that is very much present in the job market.”

Based on the number of applicants to the program, the company expects to hold future cycles for the program in order to reach as many programmers as possible at the start of their journey into the hi-tech sector.