A historic 150 Global Mentoring Walks will take place in over 60 countries around the world this spring.
For 21 years, Vital Voices has invested in women’s leadership as a means to improve our world. We identify women who understand that power expands the moment it’s shared and who choose to leverage their individual leadership for collective progress. Across cultures and generations, we have seen that women leaders have a natural inclination to share talent, experience, wisdom and power. The Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk embodies this act of paying it forward. Every year, we engage our Global Leadership Network through the Global Mentoring Walk, convening established and emerging women leaders to walk together in their communities. As they walk, each established leader guides, advises and supports an emerging leader as they discuss professional challenges and triumphs.
Originating in the U.S., the idea of mentoring walks was Geraldine Laybourne’s response to requests for advice from aspiring women leaders. The Founder and former CEO of Oxygen Media would invite young women to meet her for a morning walk. It became a routine for Laybourne, and an invaluable opportunity for women who wanted to learn from her experience and perspective.
A longtime friend of Vital Voices, Laybourne introduced the concept to leaders of our global network, who in 2008 took the idea to their home countries and coordinated the first annual Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk, linking women and communities globally around mentorship for one day each year. Since 2008, more than 300 walks have been held in 60 countries worldwide.
International Women’s Day recognizes women’s contribution to global progress and reminds us of the work that remains to advance women and communities everywhere. It is the ideal opportunity to demonstrate the power of women’s leadership and unite women in support of other women. Through the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk, mentors and mentees will come together to walk in their towns and cities, sharing challenges and solutions and forming supportive bonds that foster growth, confidence and leadership.