Bank of America and Vital Voices launched a joint mentoring forum—Global Ambassadors Program—in Doha, Qatar, on Monday.
GAP, which will run from Nov. 11 through Nov. 15, will bring together influential female leaders from the Middle East and North Africa who are engaged in small businesses and enterprise.
A study from the World Bank indicated that the region has made significant progress in eliminating the gender gap, particularly in education. Women are entering the labor market, however, at half the global rate. Only 18.4 percent of the female adult population is economically active.
“We’re proud to partner with Bank of America on this innovative global program to further our collective goals of strengthening women’s economic empowerment and fostering the next generation of women leaders in the Middle East and North Africa,” Vital Voices President and CEO Alyse Nelson said. “By investing in their potential and enhancing their participation in the economy through intensive one-on-one mentoring, training and expanded networks, this initiative will provide them with increased access to opportunity and business growth.“
GAP mentors and participants will partner with participants from the Qatar International Businesswomen’s Forum to discuss ways to harness and capitalize on the potential of Arab businesswomen, identify values and leadership style, eliminate barriers to female-owned businesses and to discuss innovation among women.
“We believe mentorship is critical to bridging the gap between women who complete university and those who join the job market – laying the foundation for women to be active participants in the dynamic growth story of the MENA region,” Candace Browning, the head of global research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and a global ambassador, said.