As a sponsor of Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit, we launched a new mentor program in partnership with The Girl Project—Glamour Magazine’s philanthropic initiative. The Girl Project aims to unleash the vast economic and social power of girls through education to ensure that girls everywhere have access to quality secondary education. This mentorship program will pair young female leaders at Skype with high school students sponsored by The Girl Project, and will focus on early career development, college preparation, public speaking, personal branding, and strategies for transforming setbacks into opportunities. We hope to empower the young women of the world to achieve their wildest dreams by celebrating their stories, fostering mentorship opportunities, and creating the technology to make progress possible. We will publish our Skype community lessons, stories, and inspiring content as the Girl Project Mentorship Program progresses.

“The beauty of Skype is that you can connect with people from anywhere. No matter where our mentees are located or where we happen to be ourselves, we have a vehicle to reach out and provide support. We hope that by utilizing Skype to break down the barriers of distance we are able to grow our mentorship community, creating a safe and inspiring space to learn from each other.”
—Skype 2017 Girl Project Mentorship team

Celebrate powerful women with new stickers and frames

In honor of Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Summit, held November 13, 2017, and our partnership with The Girl Project, we’re releasing a collection of new stickers and frames celebrating the sisterhood of girls mentoring girls. We created an exclusive “breaking the glass ceiling” emoticon to help you applaud the powerful women in your community—try them in Skype today!

To get started using the new Skype app and share this fresh, empowering content, make sure you are on the latest Skype mobile app. Upgrade your Skype for Android and iPhone mobile or go download the app from the Google Play store and iTunes. Click the emoticon picker to send our newest emoticon, and swipe right to the camera to express yourself with the new stickers and frames. Got feedback? We’d love to hear it! Please head over to the Skype Community.

Meet the mentors

From the left: Francesca Bassa, Cagla Kaymaz, Maria Isabel (Sabi) Vega, Karen Islas, and Sarah Hubbard attending Glamour’s 2017 Women of the Year Awards.

Cagla Kaymaz is a product manager at Skype currently working on calling and media experiences. Passionate about helping women in tech, Cagla is on the board of Women at Microsoft Silicon Valley, which helps women in the Microsoft tech community grow as leaders. Some of the best career advice she’s ever received: “Don’t wait for someone to hand you your dream job on a silver platter. In most cases, asking for it and proactively doing the work it takes goes a long way.”

Karen Islas is a product marketing manager on the Skype consumer team, where she leads go-to-market for Skype’s AI/bot platform, add-ins, and expressive chat content. Karen is a strong believer in the power of mentorship and guidance and hopes to one day start her own college prep non-profit. “There is a huge community and network of other woman in the workplace (and in the world) who want to see you succeed—don’t be afraid to tap into that network. If you want to learn more about a certain role, company, or hobby, there are interest groups from women for just about anything. You’ll be surprised how open other women are to help you.”

Maria Isabel Vega is currently the onboarding product manager for the Skype growth team. She is an active member of Women at Microsoft and volunteers for the annual Microsoft Give Campaign. “In high school, I wish I knew that things are only as important as the attention I give them. When I was younger, I worried a lot about what other people thought about me and wondered if I’d ever be cool or pretty enough as the standard I thought everyone expected me to reach. Today, if I catch myself wondering what others think, I try to refocus on the ideas I think are important and the standards I have set for myself.”

Sarah Hubbard is a program manager on the Skype Feedback team. She is passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM by being on the organizational team for GHC with The Anita Borg Institute and helping lead the Skype Women’s Group. She also worked at the White House in STEM education. “If there was one thing I wish I had known in high school, it’s that there isn’t necessarily a recipe for success and happiness in life—getting one bad grade on a paper isn’t going to make or break you. Your path isn’t linear. Choose interesting challenges to tackle, skills to learn, places to travel, and work hard at whatever you choose to do. Remember, there are a multitude of things that will bring you not only success but happiness.”

Francesca Bassa is a product marketing manager at Skype who loves bringing exciting new products to life through storytelling. “Don’t be afraid to break the rules. If a system, role, or company isn’t working for you—know that you have the power to either change the system or create your own. There are so many ways to achieve your goals. No one, and young women in particular, should have to accept the status quo.”

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