Having in mind the importance of mentoring as a tool for personal and professional development worldwide, Media for All programme has introduced the first formal mentoring scheme for women in the media in the Western Balkans. Mentoring is an effective method of professional development. It encourages growth and motivation, improves productivity and engagement, facilitates connection between the participants, strengthens the community and collective identity of women, helps expand the network of professional contacts, creates opportunities for cooperation and exchange of ideas and contributes to strengthening self-confidence.
The aim of the mentorship programme is to empower women in the media and to support them in developing their skills, competencies and networks by connecting them with other women from the sector who are ready to serve as peers, mentors and changemakers.
The Pilot Mentoring Programme ran from 24 February to 14 April 2021 in order to explore the need, benefits and the potential of introducing individual mentoring into the media sector in the Western Balkans. Fifteen mentees from six countries were matched with experienced female journalists from the region based on their needs and priorities for development. Working with a mentor who has experience in the media, they were able to address challenges and share their knowledge, experience and networks. This was an opportunity to learn, ask questions and experience different points of view in a practical manner with a trusted mentor.
Over the six week period, mentees met their mentors weekly to work on their personal and professional development goals, exchange knowledge and skills and to explore mentorship as a model of development. They also took part in regional workshops and consultations to exchange their experiences with their peers, reflect on the mentoring process and network with each other.