Mentoring can change people’s lives. Individuals are often unaware of their own abilities and can face obstacles in realising their full potential. A guiding hand can make all the difference. The Greek NGO Women on Top empowers women through pioneering mentoring partnerships, with the ultimate objective of achieving greater equality at work.
Mentoring to the top
Over 350 mentoring partnerships have been organised since the association was founded in 2012. These partnerships have tended to focus on specific needs:
• finding work
• a desire to change careers
• a desire to enter a male-dominated profession
• setting up businesses
Leave a Legacy – an inspirational day event organised by Mastercard and Women On Top – targeted young women with speed-mentoring and speed-training.
In addition, the NGO runs summer camps for unemployed, employed and self-employed women. A childcare service is offered for all attendees who are mothers. The camps involve professional development workshops on soft skills, digital skills and entrepreneurial skills. Over 600 women have so far taken part.
Helping enlightened businesses
Tackling the structural challenges holding women back in the workplace is another objective. For example, a gendered skills gap exists because many women have less time to devote on their professional development than their male counterparts. Gender bias can also prevent women from gaining access to capital, partnerships, travel and networking opportunities.
The NGO works directly with businesses to tackle these issues. Training, consulting and project management services are available to businesses and organisations that wish to prioritise the equal representation of women at work. Businesses are also offered advice on increasing diversity in the workplace and enabling staff to achieve a better work/life balance.
Women on Top works with other Greek NGOs active in women’s empowerment and other related fields. The association is currently in the process of building an international network of ground breaking organisations and is seeking funding to create the first professional women’s hub in Athens.