ElsaMarie D’Silva and Supreet K Singh are Vital Voices Fellows. Every year around International Women’s Day, Vital Voices Fellows around the world host the Global Mentoring Walk. ElsaMarie, Supreet and Priti Patkar, Founder of Prerana Anti Human Trafficking Centre are flag bearers of the Global Mentoring Walk in Mumbai.
- Create a network of women leaders who can support younger women, mentor them and pay it forward.
- Create an ecosystem for women leaders to network amongst themselves and a safe space for difficult conversations.
- Create role models for younger women to emulate and a network of support as they progress in their careers.
- Young girls have progressed in their education, some refusing to drop out, whilst others advancing to do their PhDs.
- Young girls have progressed to higher paying jobs because their mentors have opened their networks for them.
- A young woman wrote a book at the age of 17 after being paired with an author.
- Several young women opened their own NGOs after being paired with mentors in the development sector.
- Mentors have expressed that the interaction with their mentees was beneficial and inspirational to them as well.
For more than 20 years, Vital Voices has identified women who understand that power expands the moment it’s shared, and who choose to leverage their leadership for collective progress. Across cultures and generations, we have seen that women leaders have a natural inclination to share talent, experience and power.
The Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walks embody this resolve to pay it forward.
Every year, we work with our Global Leadership Network to organize Global Mentoring Walks in their communities, convening women leaders to walk together.
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 come together to walk in their communities, sharing challenges and solutions and forming supportive bonds that foster growth, confidence and leadership.
This global movement began with one women’s effort to share her knowledge and experience with aspiring women leaders. Geraldine Laybourne, Founder and former CEO of Oxygen Media, responded to requests for advice from young women by inviting them 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 and board member for Vital Voices, Laybourne introduced the concept to leaders of our Global Leadership Network, who in 2008 took the idea to their home countries and coordinated the first annual Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walks. Since then, more than 550 Walks have been coordinated in over 80 countries around the world.
Also read about the Power of Mentoring here.