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[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]Facebook, Pinterest and Box announced a new pilot program on Wednesday that will provide one-on-one mentorship to help women break into technical roles, and thrive in the industry.

The program, called WEST (Women Entering and Staying in Tech), will have have female staffers from the three tech companies available to serve as mentors for those women who sign up. The pilot program will launch early next year in the Bay Area.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css_animation=”top-to-bottom”]”WEST is designed to enable 1:1 mentorship for women in the early- to middle-stages of their technology careers,” according to its website. “We believe that by providing more direct support, advocacy and community development, we can help more women build rewarding careers in technology.”[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css_animation=”right-to-left”]Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, has repeatedly talked about the difficulties that women face in trying to find quality mentorship. “A man and a man at a bar at a hotel during a work trip, that looks like mentoring,” Sandberg said in an interview with 60 Minutes. “A man and a woman at a bar at a hotel on a work trip, that doesn’t look like mentoring to anyone.”

Facebook echoed the need for better mentorship in a statement on WEST’s launch.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css_animation=”appear”]”Mentorship can be incredibly influential in a woman’s career, and we’re excited to be tackling this challenge together,” the company said in a statement. “We believe that by working together and providing more direct support, advocacy, and space for community development, we can create an impactful, scalable, one-on-one mentorship program to help women build and grow meaningful careers in tech.”

While the announcement is a step in the right direction, the tech companies still have work to do themselves in boosting the number of women in the workplace.

Facebook and Pinterest were among the wave of tech companies that released diversity numbers over the summer. Just 31% of Facebook’s employees are women, according to thecompany. Pinterest was slightly better: 40% of its employees are women.

The numbers are even worse when you focus on the companies’ technical employees: Only 15% of the tech team at Facebook and 21% of the tech team at Pinterest are women.

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