The Supernova Foundation is a global, virtual mentoring programme aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate female physics students, mostly from developing countries, to improve gender equality in physics. We target women in physics departments with few or no female role models and use mentoring by senior female researchers at other institutes to empower them and give them the support they need to stay in physics. After launching in August 2017, we have 46 mentors from six continents, as well as 92 mentees from developing countries all around the world. We regularly host webinars on topics like imposter syndrome & work life balance, and our mentors meet their mentees monthly for private sessions.
Our ultimate goal is to expand the programme to all science and engineering fields in both academia and industry. We have increased our numbers five-fold since the programme’s inception. To continue to scale and achieve our vision, we need significant resources and procedures in place. In this project, we will hire a developer to create the automation tools, which must be custom-built for our needs, that we desperately need to cope with the increasing numbers. These tools will include automated collection of feedback from all mentors and mentees, simplified cross-matching for new applicants and improved web design. We will also buy a Zoom (video conferencing platform) licence which is crucial to continuing the virtual mentoring sessions and webinars.