Multilateral Diplomacy – Enhancing women’s leadership and mentoring capacities


Over the past decade or two, increasing efforts have been directed to promote gender equality and empowerment of women in all sectors of society, inlcuding women’s participation in leadership and decision-making positions. To contribute to this common objective, the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and UNITAR organised a series of three e-workshops on gender, women’s leadership and mentoring in November and December 2020. The series aimed to strengthen female leaders’ confidence, resilience and leadership capacities, and targeted women and men in leadership positions, with special attention to those working in employers’ and business organisations.

The training aimed at strengthening leadership and mentoring through building trust and confidence of participants while including gender and diversity considerations in their leadership functions. The e-workshops contained theoretical and practical knowledge on cultural and gender leadership and mentoring, mindfulness techniques, effective communication (including listening and questioning skills), public speaking and strategies for building resilience and confidence. The specific learning objectives are listed below in Box 1.

The half-day workshops were expert-facilitated and welcomed 64 participants from 33 countries, 89 per cent of them women (57 female participants). A follow-up survey for evaluations of event reactions showed that most of the participants had already some knowledge or experience in the topics addressed and only 61 per cent agreed that the information presented was new to them. However, respondents rated the workshops useful (95 per cent) and relevant to their jobs (94 per cent). Moreover, 97 per cent of respondents expressed willingness to apply the information from the course to their workplace. Partcipants taking part in the training evaluation also indicated increased awareness on the topics discussed.

In this Impact Story we collect participants’ experiences on applying knowledge and skills and we look into potential changes that may have ocurred in their professional or personal life after the e-workshop. We conducted a follow-up survey three months after the e-workshops’ completion, and obtained a response rate of 25 per cent (16 responses). Additionally, we conducted two semistructured interviews to explore in more detail the changes experienced by the participants

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