Kate Catlin is Building a Network of Women in DetroitBy Yvelette Stines on April 21st, 2015 /
When Kate Catlin graduated from college, she knew that she wanted to create change in a humanitarian aspect. As an Android developer at Detroit Labs and founder of Women Rising, she is living her purpose while creating change for women in the Detroit area and globally.
She reflects on approximately a year ago, “I was working at a company, and they asked me to develop women’s programming to help them feel more comfortable in the workplace,” she says.
Catlin saw the shift in energy as she was bringing women together, networking, and creating programs. “I noticed the women in the group were becoming more passionate and loved the solidary, but collectively the group didn’t feel as if there were genuine conversations,” she says. The continual conversation that came up was an effective mentorship program. Catlin kept the thought and need in mind as she ventured into her next chapter at Detroit Labs.
“I went into the apprenticeship training and they take people with little coding experience and in as little as three months, they become full time developers. There is a really diverse population including 50% women,” she explains. As Catlin submerged herself into the technology world, she saw the need for women and connections come to the forefront again and Women Rising was born.
She saw the “need to get involved and build a community among women in technology with genuine connections and have genuine conversations,” she says. When she started Women Rising this year, she found the need exceeded women in technology and found a group of professionals in the Detroit area willing to connect, mentor, and grow together.
Women Rising is a group that offers peer-to- peer and mentor- to -mentee relationships. The qualifications are easy. Anyone can mentor, the only commitment is a 30 minute skype call and as a mentee, it is highly recommended that you find someone with two career realms above you. The peer-to-peer is for women specifically in Detroit, where the mentor -to- mentee is for women everywhere. Catlin is excited about the momentum, community that is being developed, and support.
“We have 300 women involved already and it has only been a couple of months. The beauty with this is the importance of chemistry between mentors and mentees, if you feel that your chosen mentor is not a good fit, you can choose another,” she says. This still leaves room for networking and building relationships among those involved.
As Catlin continues on her purpose for empowering women, coding, and technology, she offers a quote she enjoys as some advice, “bite off more than you can chew, and then chew it.”
To learn more and join Women Rising visit http://www.womenrising.co/ and find them on twitter @TheWomenRising.