Highlights from our Global Ambassadors Qatar forum

Nov 15, 2013

On Monday, the Global Ambassadors Program kicked off in Doha, Qatar. The mentoring forum brings together women from the MENA region and focuses on ways to empower them to achieve success and be active participants in their local economy.

Day 1: Mentees share what they hope to gain

After settling in, the mentees attended three training sessions throughout the afternoon. These sessions helped guide the mentees on leadership, story-telling, and how to work with the media. In the story-telling session, the mentees were asked to consider whether they are inviting their audience to only understand their story or experience the journey by their side. The mentees reflected on stories that can help illuminate what motivates them and give their audience insight into their character and mission.

“I don’t want my mentor to lead me,” said Abeer D. Abu Ghaith, a mentee who manages a start-up company that helps provide job opportunities to professionals. “I’m looking for a mentor to help me determine good options, and then I’ll make the decision of how I can make progress on my goals.”
Getting to know each other

At the end of the day, the mentees and Global Ambassadors had a chance to meet and get to know each other at an informal gathering followed by an excursion to the Souq Waqif Market. The market is one of the region’s oldest and most important destinations and is renowned for selling traditional garments, spices, wool, and handicrafts.

The mentees and Global Ambassadors will continue to explore the challenges and opportunities women in the MENA region face in the coming days, so be sure to follow along on Twitter using #GlobalAmbassadors and @VitalVoices.

Day 2: Global Ambassadors learn from one another

On Tuesday, the mentees and Global Ambassadors sat down together to discuss their background and experience as a first step toward building their mentor/mentee relationship. At the one-on-one mentoring session, mentees shared what their vision is for enhancing their skills set and mentors offered suggestions on ways to approach their goals.

Speaking to the group, mentee Dalia Saafan, partner and head of coaching at Edge Consultants in Cairo, Egypt shared, “I know I’m here on this earth to do something, and I believe that each and every person is a masterpiece.” Her small business focuses on how to coach people to live their values with a positive attitude, and her clients have attested that this coaching has resulted in more cost-effective businesses.

Later on, mentors and mentees attended the Qatar International BusinessWomen’s Forum (QIBWF) to engage in a broader conversation around Arab women as change-makers for economic and social progress. They also heard insights around the value of mentoring to businesswomen through a brief session with local regional leadership and Jennifer Taylor, Chief Operating Officer for Europe and Emerging Markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Jennifer Taylor reflected on her experience as a Global Ambassador in the South Africa mentoring forum last year and how paying it forward is important.

The mentees and Global Ambassadors will continue to explore the challenges and opportunities women in the MENA region face in the coming days, so be sure to follow along on Twitter using #GlobalAmbassadors and @VitalVoices.

Day 3: Sharing expertise and giving back

The Global Ambassador Program continued Wednesday, with the mentees and Global Ambassadors participating in one-on-one mentoring sessions followed by training sessions.
Reflecting on her mentee Fatima Al-Mohannadi who is from Qatar, Donna Langley, Global Ambassador and chairman of Universal Pictures said, “Meeting Fatima and working with her this week gives me hope for the future, for a better world, for a better planet, because if she gets to do a fraction of what she’s planning, the world will be a much better place for it.”

Later, the Global Ambassadors gave training sessions in order to share their expertise more broadly with the entire group of mentees – with topics focused on crisis management in the Middle East, financial management, and how to advocate for change.

Arije Al-Amad, Global Ambassador and a freelance consultant who specializes in microfinance, training and mentoring SMEs, noted that, “the Global Ambassadors Program has honored and recognized me as a leader investing in women's economic empowerment. It is my turn to give back."

To end the day, the mentors and mentees went on a special tour of the Museum of Islamic Art and viewed an exhibit focused on the pilgrimage to Mecca. The museum’s exhibitions span 3 continents over 1,000 years, giving museum-goers a rich cultural context for the art displayed.

The mentees and Global Ambassadors will continue to explore the challenges and opportunities women in the MENA region face in the coming days, so be sure to follow along on Twitter using #GlobalAmbassadors and @VitalVoices.

Day 4: Building relationships throughout the leadership journey

On Thursday, mentees and Global Ambassadors took advantage of one of Qatar’s beautiful parks to participate in the Mentoring Walk. The Mentoring Walk, an event that happens on the same day in different countries around the world, brings mentees and mentors together to talk about challenges they face and to establish or continue a successful mentoring relationship. It’s a fun way of being active while also sharing expertise.
 
Following the walk, mentees and their mentors continued their one-on-one mentoring sessions during which they focused on ways the women can address challenges in their leadership journey. The one-on-one mentoring sessions are critical for the relationship building that occurs during the week.

“I did not expect to form such a close connection with my mentor, Donna, in such a short amount of time, but we’ve developed an open relationship through listening and discussing ideas,” said Fatima Al-Mohannadi, a mentee from Qatar. “This week, we’ve focused on setting objectives and how to develop an actionable and measurable plan for success. I’ve learned not only from my mentor, but from all the women here.”

With the week coming to an end, mentees and mentors prepared presentations to share with the group that highlighted their goals and accompanying strategies on how to accomplish those goals. Feedback from the entire group was an important component to expanding each mentee’s perspective on ways to address their objectives and overcome barriers. Some mentees shared that their realization lay in not dwelling on past decisions but rather accepting that circumstances change and how to look at future opportunities with an open perspective.

The mentees and Global Ambassadors will continue to explore the challenges and opportunities women in the MENA region face in the coming days, so be sure to follow along on Twitter using #GlobalAmbassadors and @VitalVoices.

Qatar Ambassadors

The Global Ambassadors Program has honored me as a leader investing in women's economic empowerment. It is my turn to give back.

Qatar Ambassadors

Mentees and Global Ambassadors discussed their experience to begin building their relationship.

Qatar Ambassadors

“Meeting Fatima and working with her this week gives me hope for the future,” says Donna Langley.

Global Ambassadors

At the mentoring session, mentees shared their vision for enhancing their skills set; mentors offered suggestions on ways to approach their goals.

Qatar Ambassadors

Mentees and Mentors started their week in Qatar by focusing on developing leadership skills and media training.

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