Mentoring – Does it Help Women? (Case Study of the WMF Pilot Mentorship Program)

Written by Besma Al-Qassar

With a vision to support Kuwait’s economy by increasing the numbers of Kuwaiti women executives and women entrepreneurs, WMF offers a mentorship program for young aspiring career women to help them achieve success and growth in the private sector.

Eman Alawadhi leading the corporate discussion for mentorship program

Eman Alawadhi leading the corporate discussion

When I set to begin working on the WMF Mentorship Pilot Program, my goal was to answer one main question. Will mentoring help young women succeed in their careers? Now and after completing and assessing the Program, the answer came loud and with great confidence – Yes! Mentoring helps young career women develop not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. Through mentoring and the accompanying workshops and sessions, participants are equipped with the essential personal skills and professional knowledge they need to succeed, whether as entrepreneurs or as corporate women.

Because of the length of the program, which is one year, the impact that it has on the participants is more profound than the impact that training courses or workshops, which are usually a few days long, have. The long-term nature of the program allows for the mentees to absorb the learning and development at a longer but a more sustainable pace, yielding more impactful and long-lasting results.

Workshop for mentees for mentorship program

Workshop for mentees

There is also the psychological aspect involved. When a young women knows that a more experienced woman that can relate to her is there for her to listen to her, guide her and support her, it gives her great comfort and confidence – a key ingredient to success.

Besma and Cindy leading the pilot case study presentation for mentorship program

Besma and Cindy leading the pilot case study presentation

A pleasant surprise was the impact that the group meetings and sessions had on the young women. Women benefit from a support group of like-minded women. When women meet and openly share their aspirations and inhibitions they connect and create amongst them a sense of solidarity and community that they need to overcome barriers and move forward. The key reason here is because we as women can relate to each other, firstly as women and secondly as career women. This is something I have personally experienced and benefited from through the Lean In circle that I have been a part of since 2017. Not only have I developed my ‘essential skills’ needed for leadership, but I have thrived on the support I receive from my circle peers that keep cheering me on. Without a support group, women may be left feeling alone in their fears and dreams.

Training for mentors for mentorship program

Training for mentors

With the findings of the WMF Pilot Mentorship Program, I look forward to advancing the WMF Entrepreneurs Mentorship Program and the WMF Corporate Mentorship Program that I aim to present to aspiring young career women that want to grow and thrive in the private sector. With the support of our Partners, we aim to reach our vision that is to witness a rise in women leaders, benefitting our economy and our social well-being.

Click here to read the full case study report on the Pilot WMF Mentorship Program.

About WMF

WMF is an initiative with a vision to support Kuwait’s economy by increasing the numbers of Kuwaiti women executives and women entrepreneurs. We work to achieve our mission through creating development, mentorship and networking opportunities for women professionals, while at the same time providing a platform for data collection and dissemination. WMF’s greater vision is for its programs to reach women across the GCC Region.

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