Girls and Keys

An online mentorship platform for women by women

The process that I have I followed here can be divided and visualized in the form of an hourglass of filtering my solution from a bunch of ideas generated through brainstorming:

The approach: The approach I followed for competitive analysis was inspired by one of the Danforth articles, where

they talked about the trick for how to pick our competitors, direct or indirect. We need to follow the user’s intent – ‘who or what is most likely to keep users from using our software or going to our website’. I selected 7 organizations working to help women in technology (directly or indirectly). Answering if and why the “girls in my neighborhood” would go to these products, helped me make a comprehensive sheet which can be viewed here.

The competitors selected are : Shenomics, LeanIn, Girls in Tech (India), TapChief, LinkedIn, MentorYes and twitter/fb which work around the same problem statement for the confined users in Bangalore(India)

Analysis of various factors on the table(on the next page and here) can be shown in the graph:

This graph above explains that most of the companies like Girls in Tech, LeanIn, and Shenomics are working on solving the issues by offline means. They conduct hackathons, community engagement programs and tech talks to motivate women/girls in technology. While companies like TapChief, MentorYes, and LinkedIn, irrespective of the gender, provide online mentorship platforms not exclusively designed for women. There are very fewer women exclusive portals for 1x1 online mentorship.

Some of these organizations have created safe space for women i.e. the users can voice out any issues freely without feeling judged. This is a major point that many of the listed companies are missing out on (deficiency). The feeling of openness with the organizations can also be tracked on scale below:

Persona 1
A college student who aspires to be successful in the field of computer vision and wishes to seek mentorship from people in the industry. She also wants to feel safe while she asks her questions and not feel judged. She would be a potential user of a mentorship platform that would connect her to other experienced women.

Persona 2
She is a leader in her field in a corporate firm and is very enthusiastic about helping girls in the field of technology. She also feels there should be more women in leadership positions like her and understands the pain points related. She can be the potential mentor for girls who aspire to be as successful as her.

Persona 3
He is a college professor from a prestigious institute in India. He is aware of the stigma created at times during studies and hiring among the students. He also believes that colleges through their curriculum can bring about the change in the thought processes of the young generation getting ready to join the workforce. He can be a potential mentor for the platform and prove to be a great ally to women in tech.

Persona 4 (Anti persona)
Working male professional who preaches equality and does not feel it is important to give an extra set of opportunities to women in tech. He is pretty unaware of the difficulties and barriers that exist for women in technology. If given an option to use the platform, he would not be motivated to be a mentor and might discourage it to be a women-centric play again. Also he feels this extra help to girls is discriminatory.

I am in the process of formulating these. Please checkout this space soon for more development on the project.