As the Senior Community Manager at Women Who Code, I work closely with our global community of volunteers (Network, Directors, Leads, and Evangelists) to support the educational programs that bring our community together to learn and grow in their careers.
WWCode serves members in 147 countries, and supports 70+ Networks in 27 of those countries, with Directors leading a team of volunteers (Leads, Evangelists and General Volunteers). I work directly with Network Directors, communicating with them regularly and helping support them and their teams. I’m also developing and optimizing community management processes and programs while building relationships and celebrating the success of our volunteers.
Even though I’m now the Community Manager for WWCode, I started as a volunteer.
Before joining the team full-time, I volunteered for the Belfast Network as a Director for a few years, and later I was a 2020 Leadership Fellow for Data Science and Blockchain. In my years with WWCode, I have learned that the beauty of volunteering is that you can give back and contribute to building a diverse and inclusive tech field. It is an extremely rewarding experience, and WWCode gives you a safe space to learn and grow in a leadership capacity.
I’m excited to share six reasons why volunteering for WWCode can positively impact you and how it can empower your career.
1. You get to work with a diverse volunteer team and collaborate with talented people
When you volunteer for WWCode, you will be working with diverse volunteers, as our leaders are from all over the world and have different backgrounds. Working with volunteers across the globe means there are diverse skill sets and experiences. You’ll collaborate with highly skilled women from different career levels, technical stacks, educational backgrounds, and more. This means you and your team will make better decisions and have a broader perspective when you plan events and projects. When you are a volunteer (Lead, Evangelist, or Director) at WWCode, you will be invited to a monthly leader hangout where our community collaborates monthly and meets with leaders from other countries. Plus, working with diverse groups on projects gives you valuable experience you can leverage in your career as a team member or leader.
2. You have opportunities to improve your technical skills
As part of your volunteer position, you have the opportunity to speak at events for your community and lead panels, workshops, bookclub discussions, lectures, and more. WWCode events provide a safe space to learn and practice skills. You can choose a technology you are interested in and learn by teaching others.
For example, suppose you are hosting a Data Structures & Algorithms workshop. While you are hosting this workshop and learning with your community, you’re simultaneously enhancing your tech skills and preparing for your personal and job interviews. As you organize events for your community, it also allows you to learn at the same time. This is called the protégé effect, a psychological phenomenon where teaching something helps you learn and improve your understanding.
3. You develop your Leadership Skills through hands-on training
The WWCode Program Team host quarterly Leadership Summits to help our Community Leaders learn about the WWCode Leadership Mindset model and practice it in their everyday careers and volunteer roles. You will also get access to our previous Leadership Summits and materials.
WWCode built a leadership model around the eight mindsets that would help develop you the most as a tech leader; you’ll learn how to be more inclusive, reflective, and strategic, just to name a few. We want to create a space at WWCode where you can practice and build your leadership skills. You can learn these different mindsets by volunteering at WWCode. This is important not only in your volunteer position but also for your career; at WWCode, you can improve your leadership skills and enhance your career.
4. You develop project management and other valuable skills
You will learn and develop these key areas as a volunteer at WWCode. Volunteers gain the opportunity to work with their team and either help organize or lead and manage events for their community. You can gain and develop many skills from this experience, such as organizational skills, flexibility, communication, decision-making, problem-solving, social media marketing, and public speaking skills. You can also develop project management skills if you are taking a lead role. All these skills are key skills that will help you enhance your career, which you can bring back to your job and even your personal life.
5. You will be mentored by WWCode leaders, and with experience, you will have the opportunity to mentor and lead others
When you first join as a volunteer, you will be mentored by other leaders in your community that will help you grow in your volunteer position. Over time, you can mentor and lead others in your community and give back. For example, you can help recruit a new volunteer to join the team and help them grow into a volunteer leadership position at WWCode, or you can help mentor speakers who will be speaking at a WWCode event. It is a beautiful feeling and rewarding as we are gifting our time empowering others with an opportunity for the future to improve and be better. We rise and develop by lifting others in our community, and you will make friends for life!
6. You can gain recognition for your work at WWCode, which could lead to job promotions and other opportunities
When you volunteer for WWCode, your volunteer position can open many doors in your career as you build valuable hands-on experience for your resume and level up your technical and professional skills. For example, you could be asked in your workplace to take on a new project or be invited to speak at an in-house event. You could be asked for interviews by local media outlets and invited to events, conferences, and schools to discuss your experience.
We recommend that you share your new role on LinkedIn and the work you are doing at WWCode with your Network and workplace, which could lead to job promotions. When it is promotion time in your workplace, make sure to share all the wonderful things you do for your WWCode community. Planning events, contributing to community initiatives, collaborating with teams, working as a diversity advocate, supporting social media, working with Partners, and more will help you stand out as you work toward promotions or new positions.
As you can see, there are so many ways volunteering with WWCode can positively and significantly impact your career. You will develop and learn many skills, and volunteering will open up doors to opportunities.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can share your interest here. After you sign up, you will be invited to an informative session in April where you can learn more about volunteering for WWCode and sign up to volunteer for our communities.
Questions about volunteering for WWCode? You can reach out at email@example.com