Bold and Becoming is an initiative that encourages, empowers and enables women and youths to find their purpose– to find their whys, to be more confident, courageous, self-loving, self-respecting, and self-dignifying and to be the person they want to be. With this view, Bold and Becoming has taken the initiative of a six month long Mentorship program. Through this mentorship program individuals were assigned to a specific mentor who will guide the mentees to learn, grow and navigate both their personal and professional lives. To inaugurate the program an online orientation was held on 11th November, 2022 where we were privileged and honored to listen the following distinguished leaders regarding the importance of mentorship, leadership, resilience and connection of these to SDG#5:
Sarah Dyer – Board of Director, 100 Women in Finance and Chair of NY Advisory Board of Asian University for Women.
Janine Lee – Global L&D Leader at Google.
Peter DeBartolo – Associate Professor at Adelphi University | PhD Candidate at University of Oxford.
Nishat Mazumder – The first Female Bangladeshi to conquer Mount Everest.
The speakers shared their valuable insights and guidance to the mentees so that they can make the best use of this six months long mentorship program. Sarah Dyer opined on the importance of mentoring and having a mentor in life. According to her, mentorship gives mentees an opportunity to connect with people who are a little bit further along either professionally or personally. It gives mentees an opportunity to be in relationship with mentors for guidance about specific challenges that a mentee faces. But she shared it ought to be reciprocal as well. Both the mentor and mentee need to contribute to the relationship for it to sustain and grow. She further mentions that a mentorship allows mentors to guide mentees in structuring and planning around their goals. It provides the opportunity for a mentee to obtain coaching and guidance on specific goals and challenges. Conveying appreciation and gratitude to mentors will be glue in forging a sustainable and meaningful relationship with the mentors, she shared.
Our second speaker Janine Lee explained about the attributes of a leader. A leader is someone who empowers others, who is open to challenges, who is a good listener, who has compassion, respect, confidence, inspiration, optimism and other empowering attributes for thyself and others. Understanding of these attributes can help someone to become a good leader. She also shared her journey of “I am remarkable”, a Google led workshop to overcome imposter syndrome and to build true self-confidence. Our thoughts shape our mind and thus she shared with our attendees the importance of nurturing positive thoughts. In answer to one of our mentee’s questions on how to overcome negative thoughts, Ms. Lee shared ideas and techniques such as gratitude journaling, counting positive things in life, exercise etc. to cultivate positivity and grow confidence. She shared that seeking help or finding a support community can also help to overcome negative thoughts.
Our third speaker, Peter DeBartolo discussed on the importance of learning leadership skills in achieving SDG#5. He said that SDGs are made to uplift social, economic and ecological situations. It encourages the use of resources to ensure these developments. The goal of SDG#5 is to achieve gender equality. Education is a powerful weapon and it’s impossible to change the world without ensuring quality education. In most cases, women are excluded from various opportunities and various social platforms. Proper education can bring women in those platforms and also in leadership. He also added that to ensure the rights of women is to ensure the rights of human beings, which actually shows how important women empowerment is. In fact, he shared that social development is impossible without developing women. Women become leaders through the power of education. Education empowers them to make different life decisions which ultimately may lead them to leadership.
Our last speaker was Nishat Majumdar, the first Bangladeshi woman to conquer Mount Everest. She shared her adventurous and resilient journey of achieving the Summit of Mount Everest. She exhibited how focused she was on her goals even when her journey was filled with astronomical challenges. Her story of a thrilling journey on Mount Everest inspired our young leaders to be determined, persistent and resilient. She encouraged the mentees to make proper planning and to develop good strategies in executing those planning and recommended to practice and incorporate honesty, industriousness and courtesy to experience a wholesome life.
Throughout the mentorship orientation, the founder and facilitator of Bold and Becoming, Chitralekha Kar Pooja performed pockets of positive affirmations with the audience and emphasized the importance of mentorship in navigating life!