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IAA announces mentorship plan for women in marcom

The mentorship programme will take place in phases. 20 mentees will be shortlisted in Phase 1, which will be restricted to Mumbai. Phase 2 will be rolled out after six months

The India Chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA) is set to roll out a mentorship programme for women in the marketing, media and advertising space. The plan is the brainchild of IAA Vice-President Megha Tata (Chief Operating Officer BTVI, Business Television India), who will also be driving the initiative.

The mentorship programme will take place in phases. 20 mentees will be shortlisted in Phase 1, which will be restricted to Mumbai only. Phase 2 will be rolled out after six months.

The applications will be vetted by a core team that has already been set up and after an orientation session with them, the mentorship programme will begin.

Megha Tata

Speaking about the need for such a programme, Tata said, “There is a great need for such an exercise. Look around and you will see the really small number of women in leadership roles. We have a fairly large percentage of women in our industry who have a working experience of 8-10 years and this is the audience we are addressing. They are experienced, are managing their families and are poised to take on leadership roles. All they need is the right kind of mentoring now. We are looking at inviting applications from Mentees with this kind of background. They will need to send us a brief profile of themselves accompanied by an endorsement from someone senior to them in the industry, not necessarily in their own organisation. Our plan is to complete the mentorship of what we call as Phase 1 in a period of six months with four meetings between mentors and mentees in this time span. I am hoping this would be an on-going effort and we would be contributing to the development of a fine crop of women leaders over a period in time.”

Ramesh Narayan

Commenting on the initiative, Ramesh Narayan, IAA President, said, “I am delighted that we are getting involved in this meaningful initiative. It is the first time that something like this is being planned in the marcom industry and needs the complete support of our colleagues. Since IAA has always been at the forefront of such initiatives, it is a very logical extension for us. The immediate endorsement of senior people like Ashish Bhasin (CEO Dentsu Aegis network), Nandini Dais (CEO Lodestar Media), Shalini Kamath (Shalini Kamath & Associates), Neena Dasgupta CEO Zirca Digital Solutions) to name a few, as mentors, has been a great source of satisfaction for us. I believe industry associations owe it to their constituents to plan and implement such initiatives.”

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