SES Women Mentoring Walk
As SES Equality and Solidarity Association, on March 8th, we organized a women’s solidarity event in Istanbul, which was part of a global event that was held in 165 different cities of the world. We brought together women leaders (MENTORS) with at least ten years of experience in professional life and young women leaders (MENTEES) who are at the beginning of their career.
SES Women Mentoring Walk unfolded as follows: Vital Voices, which first launched this event and later tried to implement it in different cities around the world, is a non-governmental organization, founded in 1995 by Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright to support women’s leadership.
As SES Equality and Solidarity Association, we had high expectations from this event, the first of which held in Istanbul:
We wanted women leaders to share their experiences with young women in the development process, to give their personal support and to develop a friendship through which both sides will learn from each other.
We wanted women to get out of their neighborhoods, where they usually get stuck, so as to discover life in other neighborhoods. We wanted to show that there is world beyond Facebook and Instagram balloons, to enjoy real conversations. We knew that whether poor or wealthy, western or eastern, religious or secular, women struggle to exist in society as equal individuals. We also knew that the partnership of women with same the cause would be great and that women who successfully survived the struggle wanted to give hands to women who are walking the path.
We knew from our previous organizations, how women are willing to solve social problems and yearning for doing something to support future generations. With the SES Women Mentoring Walk, we wanted to bring together women who will be a remedy for each other and contribute to women’s solidarity and social peace together.
We prepared forms for MENTORS and MENTEES to apply for the event on our website. We tried to reach the target audience with the support of our partners, non-governmental organizations and universities. There was a return above our expectations and within three weeks, 350 participants applied to become MENTORS and MENTEES. Most of the participants stated how much they give importance to this event. Our system matched MENTORS and MENTEES within the framework of the competencies and needs stated in the application forms.
We sent an e-mail to the participants and shared the names and surnames of the people we match them to and invited them to the foyer of the Harbiye CRR hall on the morning of March 8.
Curiosity continued until Sunday morning. As MENTORS began to meet with their MENTEES one by one, a magical atmosphere was created in the foyer of the CRR hall. Women, like friends who have not seen each other for years, moved into deep conversations on the corners of the hall, on the stairs as if to make up for lost time. If a passerby came to the hall by chance at that moment, she would have thought that these women had known each other for years.
On Sunday, March 8, the CRR hall turned into an oasis where hope replaced pessimism.
In accordance with the format of the SES Women Mentoring Walk, we wanted MENTORS and MENTEES to walk side by side in the park and spread the messages of equality and solidarity to the world. The warm intimacy that started in the first minutes of the meeting could now turn into an action. The women left the hall together and poured in to the streets of Harbiye, Maçka, Nişantaşı Art Park, Demokrasi Park, and to the coffee shops nearby. They developed their friendship.
Spring came to Istanbul on March 8th.
Mayor Muammer Keskin, who wanted to make Şişli a district where women can live comfortably, was with us with his wife Hülya Keskin and the Chief of Culture, Elçin Önder Turan.
Şişli became the district of women’s solidarity on March 8th.
The women felt their power and once again understood what they could do when they come together. They got out of the pessimism that descended over the world and our country, even if it was for a day. They look at the future with more hope.
Turkey became a more beautiful country on March 8th.
Thousands of women marched with another woman in 66 countries such as India, Bangladesh, Palestine, Peru, Spain, Ireland, Qatar, Brazil, Nigeria, Uganda, made friendships and developed hope for the future.
The world became a more livable place on March 8th.
Long live women’s solidarity!
What is Women Mentoring Walk?
Women Mentoring Walk is a global project of the Vital Voices Association, which was established to support women’s leadership in the world.
SES Women Mentoring Walk has come together to create a solidarity between the Experienced Woman Leaders (MENTOR) and the Woman Leaders at the Beginning of Their Career (MENTEES).
We invite you to join 2021 SES Women Mentoring Walk, which will be held next year, if you think you have the qualities and competencies to become a MENTOR or MENTEE and want to contribute to women’s solidarity. We want to see you among us and to expand women’s solidarity with you.
The project aims that;
- Experienced Women Leaders (MENTOR) converse with other women leaders (MENTEE) who are in the stage of development, share their experience and knowledge, give personal support and develop friendship,
- Women who live in closed circles expand their vision and receive personal support,
- Women contribute to the society by strengthening solidarity among women.
Who Can Attend?
Experienced Women Leaders
Women who have at least ten years of experience in business, academia, art, media, civil society, public or any other field and want to add value to another woman’s life by sharing their experience, who are ready to learn from other people, and who want to celebrate March 8th with a large group of women.
Women Leaders at the Beginning of Their Career (MENTEE)
Women who are students or in the beginning of their career, who are gearing up for a new initiative, who are looking for a new direction in their life and seek for informational and experiential support, or who want to talk to experienced women who have overcome these moments in life and get inspiration from them.
The applications are now closed, thanks for your interest.