Global Ambassadors Program: Mentoring women leaders

Connecting women entrepreneurs to tools and resources that give them the power to succeed is one way Bank of America helps advance economic and social progress.

The Global Ambassadors Program pairs a diverse group of women leaders of small businesses and social enterprises (mentees) with Global Ambassador mentors, established women executives from a range of sectors and organizations, including Bank of America, for a week of one-on-one mentoring and workshops focused on building business acumen and enhancing skills in key areas such as leadership, financial management, business strategy and communications. Since 2012, the program has been held 19 times across the globe, including Haiti, South Africa, India, Singapore, Brazil, Northern Ireland and Poland, among others.

Our 2017 participants shared their experiences and takeaways from the program — including the importance of mentorship and the progress they’ve made since participating in the Global Ambassadors Program.

Judie Caribeaux (USA), 2017 GAP mentee

“You helped me see the value and beauty I hold within. I am powerful in my own right. I don’t need to be someone else. I need to be me and lead from that unique perspective…. You have helped me walk further along my journey of living into my potential. Not only was I invited to be a part of a group of women with some amazing credentials, I came to understand that I was a valued part of that group who impacted me as much as I impacted others.”

Ann Thorn (USA), GAP 2017 mentor

“Personally, my family and I have been on a quest to move to a farm and eventually provide equine therapy in the community. As soon as I got home from GAP, we started discussing it more and actively looking at opportunities. Today, we have five acres to be able to plan on building our barn and getting equipment and horses on the land. I’m not sure I would ever have pulled the trigger had I not been part of GAP!”


Amina Swanepoel (Philippines), GAP 2017 mentee

“For mentees, it is important to suspend what you think you know about everything, be open minded, just listen…when you see something a certain way and people who are seeing it for the first time view it with fresh eyes, they can actually tell you things you could have been missing.”



Mollie Colavita (USA), GAP 2017 mentor

“I don’t think you can be successful in a leadership role without being mentored. At every stage of your career, mentorship helps you see what’s around the corner. Having a sounding board you can trust for insight and perspective is super important. And as a mentor, it feels great to help someone grow through different stages in a way that enables her to be true to who she is and accentuates her strengths.”


Brenda Harris (USA) 2017 GAP mentee

“I saw things I could do to strengthen the business and have already applied them…. One of the mentors, who wasn’t my mentor but had been giving me feedback and guidance throughout the week shared that I would be a great partner for her company. She gave me very specific instructions to make that happen, and as a result, we should see at least another $40,000 in business this year!”


Natsuki Tanaka (Japan) 2015 GAP mentee

“In Japan, the shortage of labor is a huge social problem and so we are accepting the labor from China, Vietnam and other Asian countries. Their working conditions are poor, made worse by their lack of Japanese language skills. Now our NGO has a sponsor to work with, we have been able to form a team to help people who want to study or work in Japan.”



Thu Hue Nguyen (Vietnam) GAP 2016 mentee

“Since the Global Ambassadors Program in 2016, I developed a program called ‘MAM’ (Marine Ambassador Mentorship) which helps grassroots community leaders use technology in coastal areas of Vietnam.”




Eleanor “Tabi” Haller Jorden (Switzerland) GAP 2017 mentor

“Subsequent to the Belfast program, I’ve taken on several new professional challenges, so for me, it was a wonderful opportunity to partner with (my mentee) and think about how my own, more recent professional experiences and insights could be relevant for her. Happily, there was a terrific amount of alignment in our respective work. I’m focusing on workplace innovation and design, and she is fundamentally developing a workforce for the future — this created some remarkable synergy in our conversations and strategy sessions. I’m feeling just incredibly energized and inspired by our partnered journey.”


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