Maureen Rosita Ojong Ebob-Besong, 32 years old, born in Cameroon, Program Director (SEED Project); Sports and development expert and consultant, GIZ has no doubts: the SIGA Global Mentorship Programme “is building a network of current and future global sports executives”.
After pairing with mentor Dr. Deidre Anderson (Australia), Manager Director, Dee Anderson & Associates, Maureen joined the French African Foundation Young Leaders programme and became a natural advocate of mentorship.
Read her insights on #SIGAWomen Global Mentorship Programme:
Why did you decide to participate in SIGA’s mentorship program?
I decided to apply for the SIGA mentorship program because I was looking for a safe space to interact, share and learn from inspiring female leaders from the industry. Sports for a long time has been a men’s world. At the beginning of my career in sports, there were very few women I could turn to for advice on tackling the barriers and growing in the industry. When I met women in the sports industry, very few were open and supportive in their approach, probably because of their own experiences. The SIGA mentorship program provided me with a different experience.
What is your assessment of participation?
As a mentee of the 2020/2021 cohort, I enjoyed every aspect of the programme, from the quality of mentors, to the resources put to our disposal. We openly shared our challenges and experiences during the workshops and came up with solutions based on individual experience. Most importantly, the programme has given mentees a platform to shine. As a mentee, I was encouraged to speak during three virtual events organized by SIGA. So far, these experiences have helped me get my voice out there and build my network. That is truly important for young leaders, especially young women who desire to grow in the global sports industry.
What was the best thing the program brought you? What skills did you learn?
The best thing the programme brought to me was human relationships and networks. The skills I have improved through this program are public speaking and creative thinking skills.
Do you advise other women to enter the programme? Why?
I strongly advise and encourage other young women, and will be helping other mentees of mine to join this program. I believe that just as I did, they can grow, build their networks, and improve themselves through this programme.
Do you believe this programme will help create more opportunities for women in the sports industry? Why?
Yes. It is a programme supported and pushed by women for women. On advocacy, will contribute to the global efforts to promote equity in sports. Secondly, the programme is gradually building a network of current and future global sports executives who are employers and would ensure that women are supported. We need to ensure that competent women are put in leadership positions besides men in the industry to achieve common goals and objectives.
Did the programme change your professional life in any way? If so, how?
The programme has opened me to a good network. On a professional level, I have met and interacted with professionals in sports with whom I look forward to collaborating.
Katie Simmonds, SIGA Global COO and Managing Director #SIGAWomen, invites women from all corners of the world to #StandWithSIGA and join the programme, either as a mentor or as a mentee. “It is a pleasure, passion and duty as a female in the sports industry to lead the SIGA Global Female Mentorship Programme for Aspiring Female Leaders in Sport. The high calibre of Global Mentors, from a diverse cross-section of the industry, shows that this movement is not only gaining traction but is needed. The current status quo of gender balance in the board room of sports organisations is simply not good enough. If we are to increase this, as women working in the industry, we have a responsibility to help the next generation of female leaders. Networking, exchanging valuable practical lessons and tips, as well as offering reassurance and confidence to the next in line is exactly what the programme is about. If you have smashed the glass ceiling, take a step forward and join us!”
Check out some confirmed Mentors and stay tuned for future announcements
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SIGA is the world´s largest coalition in the field of sport´s governance and integrity. Supported by more than 100 international multi-industry supporters, SIGA is an independent and neutral organisation whose mission is to bring about meaningful reforms and enhance the integrity of all sports through a set of universal standards operated by an independent and neutral body. SIGA is the only organisation to bring together sport, governments, academia, international organisations, sponsors, business, rights holders, NGOs and professional services companies, from every region in the world, around a common cause of fostering greater integrity throughout sport.
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