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E-News graphic, Latest Edition/Volume 2 - Number 4 September 2003 - Photos representing working women - Digital ImageryŠ copyright 2001 PhotoDisc, Inc.

"The Voice of Working Women"

Secretary Chao with GEM-SET girls in ChicagoE-mentoring is the on-line sharing of advice and information between mentors and mentees.

The Women's Bureau has discovered that electronic mentoring, or e-mentoring, is one of the best ways to inform and educate women and girls. Our e-mentoring programs connect professionals (mentors) and youth (mentees) from across the country through listservs and websites, which is appealing to tech-savvy learners and mentors with busy schedules. Mentees can post questions online and mentors will respond by sharing advice and information. Questions and answers are posted as a Daily Digest sent via email to each participant.

E-mentoring has become a key component of many of the Women's Bureau's initiatives. Our first e-mentoring project, Girls E-Mentoring in Science, Engineering, and Technology (GEM-SET), began in 2001 to increase the interest of teenage girls in science, engineering and technology (SET) careers.

From left to right, Shanna Conn, Britney Pickus, and Carlisa Tucker at the Region V GEM-SET event, Explore the World of SET, at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) on April 5, 2003.Over 900 girls and 200 mentors from across the country have participated in the program. GEM-SET is now entering its third year with a special focus on reaching out to immigrant girls in New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston, and Los Angeles. The University of Illinois at Chicago continues to be our GEM-SET partner managing the website, and the Daily Digest.

After the success of GEM-SET, the Women's Bureau launched GEM-HS (Health Sciences), a demonstration project with a similar goal of promoting healthcare careers among students.

This project evolved into a partnership with the University of Michigan to create a Group E-Mentoring in Nursing online project. Designed after the GEM-SET model, GEM-Nursing consists of a website with valuable information on the nursing profession, educational programs, and links to financial aid resources. Through a listserv located on the website, GEM-Nursing mentors will provide guidance and support to male and female students aged 15 to 21 who are considering a career in nursing. This multi-regional project launched a website in late September:

E-mentoring will also be used in a Women's Bureau's financial security initiative that targets Generation X women aged 22 to 35. The project, called Wi$e Up, is designed to teach Gen X women the basics of managing money, saving, investing, and retirement planning. The curriculum will be available online in January, and women will be able to interact with financial planning mentors through a listserv maintained by the University of Texas at Dallas.

The Women's Bureau has received enthusiastic feedback on its e-mentoring programs and will continue to promote them as a method of educating learners in today's high-tech society.

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For More Information About WB, Contact:
U.S. Department of Labor
Women's Bureau
200 Constitution Avenue, NW - Room S-3002
Washington, DC 20210
Telephone 1-800-827-5335 or (202) 693-6710
Fax (202) 693-6725