Initiative focused on creating opportunities for underserved women and girls around the world
This week, espnW and U.S. Department of State 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,” said 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; 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.
Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #empowerwomen.
espnW is a global multiplatform brand dedicated to engaging and inspiring women through sports. espnW.com, the brand’s content home, offers total access to female athletes and the sports they play, takes fans inside the biggest events, and captures the biggest trends in sports life/style. espnW also provides a unique point of view on the sports stories that matter most to women and highlights the crossroads of sports and culture. Founded in July 2010, espnW’s content and voices live across digital, television, radio, films, events, educational platforms and social media. The annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit, now in its seventh year, brings together top athletes and industry leaders for meaningful conversations around women and sports, and is the leading event of its kind in the sports industry.
About U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs promotes mutual understanding between Americans and people from around the world through a wide range of academic, cultural, private sector, professional and sports exchange programs. These international exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders from the United States and nearly 170 countries. Alumni of these exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 350 current or former heads of state and government.
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