espnW, U.S. Department of State Launch Fifth Year of Global Sports Mentoring Program
espnW and U.S. Department of State have launched the fifth year of the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP), with 16 emerging female leaders from around the world kicking off a four-week mentorship in the United States with top American female executives from some of the most influential organizations in sports and business. During the program, the mentors will share valuable business leadership skills and assist the emerging leaders in developing strategic action plans aimed at creating sports opportunities for underserved women and girls in their home countries.
“Research has demonstrated that when women and girls participate in sports they are more likely to gain leadership skills that are vital across all areas of life, and the women in this program are aiming to use that knowledge to create stronger, more stable communities,” says Laura Gentile, SVP, espnW and Women’s Initiatives, ESPN. “We’re celebrating the fifth year of the GSMP, and this program exemplifies espnW’s commitment to using sports to inspire women. We can see real results from previous emerging leaders, and we’re proud to help affect change in the lives of women and girls across the world.”
The executive mentors in the 2016 program represent the following organizations: the America East Conference; the Big East Conference; ESPN; Google; Ketchum Sports & Entertainment; the NBA/WNBA; the NHL; New York Road Runners; P&G; RPA Advertising; Saatchi & Saatchi LA; Spurs Sports & Entertainment; University of Connecticut; University of North Carolina; and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The emerging leaders hail from 13 countries across the globe: Argentina; Benin; Brazil (2); Jordan (2); Macedonia; Mexico; Moldova; New Zealand (2); Pakistan; Paraguay; Philippines; South Korea; and Ukraine.
GSMP alumnae have launched initiatives that promote inclusion and create opportunities for the underserved in their home countries, like 2013 participant Fatima Saleem, a sports journalist in Pakistan who has worked to give young women in her country a rare chance to get in the game, and 2015 participant Racha Kalot, who developed a program that uses basketball and other sports to empower girls in her home country of Lebanon.
The program, created in 2012, is part of the U.S. Department of State’s dedication to advancing the rights of girls and women around the world and is conducted in coordination with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society to engage, inspire, and empower a new generation of women and girls through sports.