Developing Women Leaders with the New LMG Mentoring Network

By Sarah Lindsay and Belkis Giorgis

With more and more women around the world gaining access to technology and the Internet, there is an exciting opportunity to connect to share professional information, expertise, and support across countries, cultures, and religions.

Due to this new and growing connectedness, the LMG Project launched the East Africa Women's Mentoring Network in November of 2014 to support the aspirations and career growth of women working in family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH) and other health domains. Over 100 women have joined, most living in East Africa, where the network first started. This platform facilitates engagement regionally and gives women access to networks to which would otherwise be out of reach. These women leaders and aspiring leaders are service providers, midwives, program managers, policy makers, teachers, advocates, and other positions.

Mentorship is a method of interactive learning in a relationship between individuals of differing levels of experience and expertise. Mentoring encourages the development of leadership skills, such as communication, advocacy, creating vision and strategy, and resource mobilization, which are often more easily gained through example, guided practice or experience.  The trust developed among mentors and mentees allows for guidance and support at any point during a mentee’s career, in comparison to formal leadership training courses which are usually at a fixed time and provide one-time support. 

The East Africa Women’s Mentoring Network’s mentors and mentees are not limited by geography and may work in different countries. 

Mentees

Mentors

Kenya: 28

Kenya: 23

Ethiopia: 8

Ethiopia: 6

Uganda: 7

Uganda: 5

Tanzania: 4

Tanzania: 4

Zambia: 4

Rwanda: 2

Rwanda: 3

Burundi: 1

Burundi: 3

Zambia: 1

Mozambique: 2

Senegal: 1

Benin: 1

Benin: 1

Somalia: 1

Malawi: 1

Ghana: 1

 

Ivory Coast: 1

 

 

Participant Occupations:

  • Program Specialist, Manager, Directors at an International NGO: 40
  • Program Specialist, Manager, Directors at a Local NGO: 39
  • Ministry of Health: 4
  • Nurse/Midwife: 4
  • M&E Specialist: 4
  • Journalist: 3
  • Professor/Teacher: 3
  • Government Agency (USAID): 2
  • Youth Organization: 2
  • SRH/Human Rights Lawyer: 1
  • Pharmacist: 1

The online platform matches, supports, and guides a one-year relationship between a mentor and a mentee and taps into a sorely underutilized resource: the leadership potential of women. The online mentoring network supports networking opportunities for women who either aspire to leadership positions or are currently in leadership positions by facilitating the transfer of critical information and skills. For more information, please visit the East Africa Women's Mentoring Network website.