Mentoring and Empowerment path of Southern female students

The YEP - Mentoring for the Future path of university female students reached the halfway come to the end and the protagonists talked about their experience so far, sharing the best practices adopted.

The project

The YEP - Young Women Empowerment Program - Mentoring for the Future of university female students project was launched last December, at the same time as  The Role of women and development in Southern Italy event. The initiatives are part of the Diversity & Inclusion panel of projects, aimed at enhancing female talent and overcoming gender stereotypes.

The project, carried out in partnership with Ortygia Business School, sees 43 students engaged as mentees, enrolled in technical-scientific and economic faculties of universities in Southern Italy, alongside as many middle managers of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group as mentors.

The mentees were selected with a specific call to action in 5 universities: University of Naples-Federico II, Polytechnic of Bari, University of Calabria, University of Palermo and University of Catania.

The mentors are professionals who work in commercial networks in 3 Group Divisions and in a Governance Area: Banca dei Territori, IMI Corporate and Investment Banking, Private Banking - Fideuram, IT Digital Innovation Officer Area.

The project aims to support young women in Southern Italy, applying mentoring as a tool to focus on their professional goal and to guide them in the world of work, encouraging participants to face the challenges and seize the opportunity the moment it presents itself.
The program has included 6 mentoring meetings on a monthly basis and ended in June with the final event. On the occasion mentees and mentors have shared their experience.


Mentees’ voice

From the different stories of the mentees came out, a strong desire to learn from the expertise of the mentors, a good willingness to receive feedback, as well as the curiosity to explore the business areas for professional growth. Also become clear the aptitude to focus on the development of the soft skills deemed necessary to achieve goals, in addition to the knowledge of the rules, behaviors and company networks necessary for professional growth.

- ... the mentor is who shows you things you do not see yet, who supports you to seek for the right questions, to focus on your present so to visualize the future ...

- ... he was able to provide me with something important to think about with great intelligence and irony, thanks to his advice I understood that I must get involved more and I must improve the most important soft skills for my professional growth ...

- ... it was a fruitful and exciting generational exchange, despite the distance, harmony and spontaneity were immediately established in deepening important perspectives of corporate life ...

- ... with her polite ways she entered my comfort zone and from here we shared areas and ideas to plan the achievement of goals I care about ...

- ... the YEP program is an opportunity for professional but above all personal growth, thanks to which today I can say that I am more aware not only of my fears, but above all of my singularities, this will help me to interact with a competitive world seizing the opportunities ...

- ... once again the woman is fighting for the enhancement of her potential, this project enables us to show that, by facing fragility with strength, we can build our future with courage ...

- ... it was like staring out the window at the world of work, from where you can look at the steps to take from another perspective.




So, say some mentees

Mentors’ voice

The mentors also talked about the experience of the mentoring relationship with young female students as a means of mutual learning, which is based on genuine interest in people and their needs, a great willingness to spend time in the development path and above all the flexibility and the ability to question oneself to be a good support.

- ... I avoided being perceived as an expert, I listened carefully to the story of her fears, in the subsequent moments of reflection I used storytelling to tell similar experiences lived in my professional past ...

- ... from this experience I will take home a more real vision of the world of young people in whose daily life courage is an obligation! It helps to cope with the flexibility imposed by the contingency and the continuous search for the mix of increasingly specialized skills ...

- ... what touches me within the relationship is the experimental approach of the young girl, a typical approach of those who move in social networks to share, ask, listen to the network ...




So, say some mentors

All stages of the female mentoring and empowerment program

     - October - November 2020 | Call initiation
     - November 2020 |
43 students have been selected out of about 130 applications
     - 23 November 2020 | Training for the role of mentee
     - 25 November 2020 | Training for the role of mentor
     - 1 December 2020 | Kick off program and monthly mentoring sessions
     - March 8, 2021 | Halfway point: comparison with the mentees
     - March 10, 2021 | Halfway point: comparison with mentors
     - June 9, 2021 | Final event

The double value of the project

We are satisfied with the progress made so far by the young female students and mentors. We believe that on this occasion too, mentoring is confirmed as a two-way training experience that generates countless benefits in professional, personal and managerial development for both parties. . The program proved to be an opportunity to enhance young university women, helping them to address their talent and to enter the world of work with greater trust and self-confidence.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     June, 2021                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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