This year marks the 15th anniversary of the FORTUNE – US Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Program, the partnership that facilitates mentorships between international women business leaders and top women executives from Fortune’s Most Powerful Women community.
October 2020 – “Women’s empowerment, including through mentorship, is the focus of many of the State Department’s exchange programs. From my own experience I know the value of having women leaders guide me along my career path.”
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce reflected on mentorship during a virtual Leadership Roundtable with this year’s participants of the Fortune – U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership . She highlighted the Department of State’s commitment to women’s empowerment and explained how mentoring impacted her life as she met with the participants of the program.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the partnership that facilitates mentorships between international women business leaders and top women executives from Fortune’s Most Powerful Women community. Zoe Dean-Smith, Vice President of Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship at Vital Voices, explained that at the center of this long-standing program, “mentoring is a relationship that improves both leadership and career growth. It gives the mentee the opportunity to see things beyond their own experience, to see a bigger or a different picture and to receive an impartial and trusted perspective.”
The 2020 cohort includes 13 women leaders from 11 countries. The mentees represent a diverse set of industries, including digital marketing, pharmaceuticals, technology and the legal sector. Due to the circumstances of COVID-19, the program is being held virtually over a three-month period. Ahead of their mentorship, the mentees participated in an orientation program that included communications trainings, networking best practices, and leadership discussions. They had the opportunity to virtually meet with Assistant Secretary Royce along with other senior women leaders from the State Department, including Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Kelly E. Currie, Assistant Secretary Dr. Denise Natali of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations and Ambassador Carol Z. Perez, Director General of the Foreign Service and Director of Global Talent. The panelists shared their leadership insights with the mentees, highlighting the importance of including more women at the tables where decisions are being made.
Having concluded their orientation program, the mentees are excited to virtually join their mentor companies this week and officially start their mentorships! They will be meeting with their mentors and their teams over the next month working on critical business and leadership skills.
Keep up with our mentors and mentees by following #FortuneMPW, #Fortune15 and @VitalVoices. Check out what past mentees had to say about the program in celebration of this program’s 15th year in a video here!
Mentee Reflections on the Fortune – U.S. Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership
This year’s mentor and mentee pairs include:
This post was contributed by Vital Voices Economic Empowerment and Entrepreneurship Intern Tia Foot.