21in21 mentoring programme will nurture aspiring businesswomen
"Although some progress has been made, in the business world, just like elsewhere, women still encounter obstacles and challenges unique to them. It is important that we all share our knowledge and experience where it can help, even if it is sometimes as simple as assuring somebody, 'You can do this.'"
Aspiring businesswomen will benefit from the experience and expertise of 21 female leaders as part of a new programme from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber has opened applications for its 21in21 Women in Business Mentoring Programme that will pair successful female business leaders with women who can tap into their knowledge to help them move up the career ladder, grow their own business or more generally provide support with professional development.
The new initiative, which will begin in March, builds on the Chamber’s successful Women in Business network which has provided networking opportunities and inspirational role models for businesswomen across the region over many years.
Mentors have been selected from a range of sectors and backgrounds from across the region – including manufacturing and logistics through to hospitality and professional services.
They will provide their mentees with one-to-one support including advice, guidance and inspiration to help drive forward with their ambitions either within an existing business or with their own venture.
Among the mentors is Warwickshire County Council's Strategy and Commissioning Manager (Economy & Skills) Alison Robinson, who joined the council last year after 20 years in a range of roles in the Energy industry.
"I am delighted to be involved with this excellent programme," said Alison. "I very much look forward to working with the mentees and offering whatever help and support I can.
"Although progress has been made, in the business world, just like elsewhere, women still encounter obstacles and challenges unique to them. It is important that we all share our knowledge and experience where it can help, even if it is sometimes as simple as assuring somebody, 'You can do this.'"
The initiative, which will launch on International Women’s Day on March 8, will also host additional events and workshops and will culminate in a celebration in March 2022. The new programme is being sponsored by the West Midland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (WM RFCA).
Applications are now open and Keely Hancox, Operations Manager of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce and Programme Lead for 21in21, said it is an incredible opportunity of aspiring businesswomen.
She said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be moving forward with our Women in Business network into a new kind of initiative that will make a massive difference to those who take part.
“Our 21in21 Women in Business Mentoring Programme has drawn some truly incredible women who will give their time as mentors to help guide and inspire others – whether they are looking to move into management, advance their own career or grow their own business.
“One of the key messages that we’ve heard time and time and again through our network over the past few years is how a lack of confidence or lack of role models can hold women back in their careers.
“We are, therefore, delighted to be able to support 21 women with this amazing opportunity to learn from some very experienced and knowledgeable leaders from across the region.”
Siamha Butt, Head of Engagement at the West Midland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, said: “21in21 is a fantastic initiative to share experience and develop the skills of mentees, whilst enhancing the potential of the future stars in our region. The WM RFCA is looking forward to engaging with business leaders and working with both the Mentors and Mentees.”
Full details and a link to an online application form for the programme can be found at https://cw-chamber.co.uk/membership/21in21/