NAMA and Global Thinkers Forum to Support 40 Women….

Through the 8 months “Athena MENA” mentoring programme

NAMA and Global Thinkers Forum to Support 40 Women to Excel in their Professional Paths

⦁ Athena MENA 2019 mentoring programme will receive applications until June 2, 2019
⦁ The programme aims to develop and support the professional development of women to contribute to the local economies

Sharjah, 26 May, 2019:The NAMA Women Advancement Establishment (NAMA) and the London-based international organisation Global Thinkers Forum (GTF) have called for aspiring women from the GCC and wider MENA regions to apply for the one-on-one “Athena MENA” mentoring programme.

The 2019 programme will include 30-40 women from the MENA region for a period of eight months. The deadline for applying is June 2, 2019 at 10:00pm GMT.

The Athena MENA mentoring programme, which pairs high-level mentors from all over the world with women from across the MENA region, gives its participants the chance to ignite their career and personal development, by acquiring new skills and expertise, that will enrich and expand their professional and personal perspectives.

It also encourages them to collaborate, build networks, exchange ideas, discuss research, investigate careers and develop the confidence to become future leaders. NAMA and GTF aim to mentor more than 100 women by 2020.

To be eligible to join the Athena MENA mentoring programme, women should be 22 or above, be from and reside in the MENA region and have good command of the English language. A Bachelor’s degree or five years of professional experience in one of the areas available for mentoring is required.

Women interested in joining the programme can apply on

Over the period of mentorship, the mentors will help the mentees develop their professional and personal perspectives, cultivate new skills and gain expertise in eight areas of mentorship: governance and public office; accountable leadership; media; business; entrepreneurship; corporate career; academia; non-profit; and science.

Mentors will also support mentees to overcome obstacles and challenges, offer them advice on career development and personal growth and guide them in taking advantage of networking opportunities.

The sessions will be conducted via video or voice calls online, over the phone and through emails. A minimum of one live session a month is required.

The GTF provides the Athena MENA Programme with an elite group of highly experienced mentors, many of whom are CEOs and directors of leading international companies and organisations, to present workshops and training sessions to mentees.

GTF curates and selects its mentors very carefully following a strict criterion to assure that they also genuinely care to contribute and positively impact these individuals’ lives. GTF mentors should have a long-term commitment towards ethics, values and community development.

HE Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, said: “Our partnership on the Athena MENA mentoring programme reflects NAMA’s continuous efforts to empower women locally and globally and equip them with leadership skills that help them chart their own path.”

She added: “In our efforts to empower women we are inspired by the vision and directives of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of NAMA, who believes in women’s great potential and their ability to make unique achievements and substantial contributions to the economy and community.”

Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder of the Global Thinkers Forum and Athena40, said “It is important to mentor women and help them understand how not only achieve their aspirations and dreams, but also thrive as accountable citizens in their societies. We are proud of our partnership with NAMA through the years. This three-year programme aspires to actively contribute to women’s economic development.”

One of the programme’s mentors, Roula Douglas, Journalist and author, encourages women to join the programme. She said: “Through Global Thinkers Forum I learned about the drive of these young people and their willingness to become a better person and to change the world. I invite everyone to be part of this mentoring programme.”

The programme’s pilot edition ran in 2018, where 10 women from the MENA region, were paired with 10 mentors.

One of the 2018 edition mentees, Anan Magdy Shendy, 28, from Egypt, said “A mentor for me is the key to dive deep into my ocean of possibilities and dreams, and is the one who will help me to be selective and mix and match my abilities in order for me to showcase ‘the best version of me’. I have learnt from my mentor to work hard in order to fulfill my goals and prepare well in advance.”

Lema Jaber, 38, from Jordan, who also completed the 2018 programme said, “It is good to share my career objectives with someone who does not really know me because this person will not judge me and will be honest about his/her opinion about me.” Adding that having a mentor from a different cultural background was an advantage, as it gave her another perspective. She said: “My mentor taught me that you can actually follow your dream and set a plan to make it real.”

On successful completion of the programme, mentees will join the extended alumni network that will offer them advice, peer support, internship and networking opportunities.


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