Mentorship in NYC Tech
“Every man should have a mentor and a protégé.”
That’s the line Bretton James (played by Josh Brolin) says to Jake Moore (Shia LaBeouf) in Wall Street 2.
That’s stuck with me for quite some time because I believe it to be true. The things you learn from the people 10 years older than you can teach you wisdom beyond your years. And the things you’ve learned, you should teach that to those 10 years younger than you. Wisdom is forever, but teaching is not.
I never much wanted to be a teacher, but I’ve always looked to be a mentor.
Which brings me to an email conversation I had yesterday with the folks running New York City’s new Academy For Software Engineering (AFSE) for high school students. They need mentors, and need them badly, with way more vacancies on the male side than female.
I was shocked and wrote the following:
Wait, this seems like a paradox I’m having trouble wrapping my head around.
You’re saying that with the 95% male ratio in technology, very few are willing to mentor the next generation? And yet, even with the few females that are in the industry, seemingly all of them are willing to mentor?
This seems like absolute rubbish. I think it’s high time we start shedding some light on this topic. I’m going to write a post about this tomorrow and I think we should get Fred to do the same since he has such a large male tech audience.
we have historically have a problem recruiting enough male mentors in general, not specifically ones with technology backgrounds. we only do same-gender matching and our student ratio is 50-50… but our mentor applicant pool generally is 60-40 skewed female. that being said, AFSE is a new thing for us and we generally do not get as many mentors from tech as we do finance or law or other corporate types. coincidentally, many of our mentors come from our corporate partners and google is our only tech corporate partner.
They are looking for male mentors, not just in engineering, but in design, product management, and the like. And in one of the biggest cities in the world, we can’t find enough guys who care enough?
This is an outrage. If I was still living in NYC, this would be my first priority. I mean, how much fun would it be to sit around with some high schoolers and teach them about technology? Not only that, but imagine how many ideas they have, how well you could get inside the heads of 18 year olds. That’s gold beyond value, from both perspectives.
Do Something About It
So, if you’re in tech, a male, and live in NYC, I urge you to contact these guys to see how you can help:
- Eric Ng <email@example.com>