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The Fortune/State Department International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership

The U.S. Department of State and FORTUNE magazine, in partnership with Vital Voices Global Partnership, joined together to launch the International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership at Mrs. Bush meets with Asst. Sec. of State Dina Powell and participants in 2006 FORTUNE State Dept International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership at White House, May 1, 2006. White House photothe 2005 Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit. Emerging women in business around the world partner with Fortune’s Most Powerful Women and Vital Voices to develop management and business skills while gaining experience in the cutting-edge U.S. business environment.

In its inaugural year, women from Bangladesh, Bolivia, the Czech Republic, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, and South Africa had the opportunity to spend time shadowing some of America’s most powerful and influential women executives – including Andrea Jung of Avon, Ann Moore of TIME Inc., Anne Mulcahy of XEROX, Gerri Elliot of Microsoft, Kathy Bushkin of UN Foundation, and many others.Participants of second annual FORTUNE-State Department International Women Leaders Mentoring Partnership in front of White House, Washington, DC May 2007. State Dept photo

The 2007 FORTUNE program expanded to include 32 emerging women business leaders from Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Egypt, Gaza, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Peru, Poland, Russia, Rwanda, South Africa, Vietnam, West Bank, and Zimbabwe. Many of the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women who participated as mentors in last year’s program donated their time again this year, and new mentors included Patricia Woertz, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland and Donna Orender, CEO of the Women’s National Basketball Association.

The two-phased program opens with a three-day Orientation and Leadership Training session held in Washington, DC. This portion of the program, aimed at showing the importance of public-private partnerships, allows the participants to understand both business and governmental aspects of the United States. The mentees, along with a number of mentors who join the women in Washington, attend meetings with top officials at the State Department and the White House, and meet with other influential figures such as Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and Vital Voices Board of Directors Honorary Co-Chairs, Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The second phase of the program pairs each of the 32 participants with one of FORTUNE’s Most Powerful Women Leaders for a two-week mentorship at each mentor’s company. This portion of the program gives the women an opportunity to observe best practices, learn organization and management skills, study business etiquette and practice their acquired skills and cultivate a valuable network of American professionals.

Many participants remain in contact with mentors, and continue to draw on that support as they continue leading in communities throughout the world. Participants have returned to their countries with the goal not only of building their businesses but also of building their communities. Eva Muraya from Kenya has started her own mentoring program for girls and Maria Claudia Mendez Nogales and Maria Cecilia Aguirre from Bolivia have been collaborating with USAID to create organizations that promote girls’ education and women’s entrepreneurship in their country. Upon returning to Guatemala, Maria Pacheco developed a partnership with the First Lady of Guatemala, Wendy de Berger, to address poverty and increase economic opportunities for women in her country, and was recently awarded the Vital Voices Global Leadership Award for Economic Development for her efforts.

Read more in our Fact Sheet and a media note announcing the partnership, and see a list of the 2007 FORTUNE/State Department mentors.

 


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