Cloud talent firm Tenth Revolution Group has announced what it describes as its latest initiative to “tackle inequality in technology” – The MentorMe program, which launches this week, will see “experienced IT leaders guiding newer tech professionals with the aim to retain and attract more women to the industry.”

According to a recent study by Girls Who Code, 50% of women leave the industry by the age of 35, a figure that needs to be reduced as most cloud platforms are facing a critical skills shortage. MentorMe will pair experienced tech leaders with female professionals at all levels to offer a free mentorship program aimed at guiding them through a long and successful career in IT, in platforms including AWS, Salesforce and Microsoft.

“Tech needs women working in it,” said Zoë Morris, president of Tenth Revolution Group. “There’s a real shortage of talent right now, exacerbated by the fact that organizations are expanding their digital footprint more than we’ve ever seen before.

“At a time when the industry has a critical labour shortage, we need to be creating the infrastructure for our industry to be more inclusive toward women.”

Mentors are being asked to commit to a six-month partnership with their mentee, with the option to carry on beyond that if the arrangement works for both parties.“

In a release, Tenth Revolution Group said it will offer guidance to “all parties throughout the duration of the initiative, including a full induction session that will help mentors create a tailored program to the individuals they work with, meaning mentees get the specific support they need in order to fully benefit.”

There is no cost associated with participation.

“I’ve seen first-hand the difference that a mentor can make for ambitious professionals,” said Dal Bamford, chief customer officer of Tenth Revolution Group. “Careers in technology can often feel isolating. In an industry that is traditionally male dominated, many women can inadvertently feel excluded. It’s important that we provide resources and mentorship for women and other underrepresented groups to establish a strong foothold that translates to a long-term career in the industry.”

The company’s internal Diversity Matters committee will “oversee the mentorships for the initial six-month period, supervising feedback sessions and ensuring the relationships are positively structured.

“Following this, the pairings are encouraged to continue their work independently, without formal guidance from the organization. This format will enable organic network building and facilitate new partnerships as the program expands further.”

Tenth Revolution Group said it is asking for anyone interested in taking part in the program (both mentors and mentees) to submit a short application via its website.