Female-founded Swift agency will bring together 16 local organizations that promote and practice gender equality to map out a personal success game plan for participants. This event will help women and female-identifying professionals in creative, business, and nonprofit fields take control of what they want and gain new tactics for overcoming barriers. Participants will be paired with 4 teammates and a dedicated mentor from a partner organization to workshop individual challenges and goals.

We caught up with Swift to find out a little more about this event, and what participants can expect from the program. Read on and visit the event page to learn more.

DWP: This is an admirably ambitious program! How does mentorship play a role at Swift, and what experience will you be drawing from there?

Liz Valentine, CEO and co-founder of Swift: As an agency founded by women, Swift has the opportunity to inspire others with the example of women leading the way. We’ve created a different model in the male-dominated ad industry by championing qualities traditionally thought of as feminine—empathy, collaboration, communication and transparency—as much as traits typically viewed as male: being ambitious, competitive and outspoken. To truly work well together and press forward, it’s important for everyone to draw on both sides of that equation. Mentoring is a powerful means to share that message and help individuals better understand their strengths, grow and navigate their path.

DWP: Is this program open to folks in all stages in their careers?

Swift: Yes, FTW: For The Women is open to women and female-identifying folk in different fields and at varying stages of their careers. We’ve observed that women of all levels crave support and guidance and that some of the hardest moves to negotiate are at mid- and senior levels, not just getting your foot in the door. It will likely appeal to those switching careers or branching out on their own as well.

DWP: Could you tell us a little about the partners who are participating in the program, and their commitment to gender equality?

Swift: In recent years we’ve become aware of numerous local groups geared toward helping women find their voice, achieve professional goals, and connect and collaborate on projects. At Swift, we felt we could help cohere those efforts for greater impact. What these groups have in common is a belief that everyone should be evaluated on their own merits, and each individual deserves an equal shot at meaningful contribution, progress and reward at work. We acknowledge that workplace bias against women and underrepresented minorities exists, and that extra effort and attention must be paid to leveling the playing field in order to advance gender equality.

DWP: What support do you expect participants will receive from their mentor and team over the course of the 6 month program after Design Week?

Swift: Participants will meet with their group and mentor once a month after the initial event during Design Week. We expect that they will correspond via Slack or email to share accomplishments and ask questions in between meetings. We’re creating a toolkit that will guide the process with themes, prompts and assignments for each month and different milestones. We’ve estimated that the mentor commitment will add up to about 25 hours over the course of the program.

Event Details

Where: Swift, 1250 NW 17th Avenue
When: Wednesday, April 18, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Organizer: Swift and Friends
Cost: $20

Visit the event page to register.