Fellowship to help women land top roles at tech start-ups

A new fellowship program has been announced with the aim of addressing the lack of diversity in tech start-ups.

Running from March for three months in Sydney and Melbourne, the Startmate Fellowship program is for women only. Those accepted in the program will be provided intimate access to some of Australia’s best founders and top VCs and will gain first-hand insights and optional internships.

One-on-one sessions will also be offered at start-ups such as the design software company Canva and workplace safety provider Safety Culture. At the end of the program, an optional trip to San Francisco offers the cohort an opportunity to meet some of the world’s largest and most renowned start-ups and investors.

“The Fellowship is perfect for anyone who thrives on autonomy, rapid growth, feedback and has always dreamed about joining a start-up with a world-changing mission,” Startmate CEO, Michael Batko, said.

Driving change

“As leaders in the start-up industry, we firmly believe it’s our responsibility to drive change. What the research demonstrates is that diversity is not just a metric to be strived for, it is actually an integral part of a successful business,” Batko explained.

“We made the decision for this particular Fellowship to focus on providing women new pathways and key networks in the world of tech, so they can land the job they really want.”

The fellowship will be open to women from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences. The criteria will be founded on a strong understanding of the needs of both employees and founders.

“We know that one of the biggest challenges start-ups face is finding really talented hires,” Batko said. “We focus on finding people who are passionate, tenacious, quick-thinking and hungry for opportunity, and then train them to be exceptional candidates who can thrive in a fast-paced start-up atmosphere.”

Practical experience

An optional paid internship will be offered to selected participating start-ups throughout the duration of the program. The internships will offer additional value for participating start-ups through a trial period ahead of hiring, and for the cohort participants in offering real-world insight into the company prior to employment.

The Startmate Fellowship runs outside work hours, and timings will be flexible for mothers. Accepted applicants will be required to pay a $1000 program fee. However, up to 10 scholarships are on offer to alleviate the financial burden.

“We want to make sure that anyone who could not attend or afford university has an opportunity to open the door to a much more real, practical learning experience and the chance to join the future economy,” Batko concluded.

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