Following the astounding success of the first three years of the Fabian Women’s Network Mentoring and Political Education programme, we are now recruiting our fourth cohort of aspiring women. If you are a woman looking to develop or further a career in politics or public life then this could be the scheme for you.
Taking part will enable you to develop your political skills and increase the impact and influence you can have on political and public life through mentoring from one of a number of highly influential women along with bespoke training and peer group support.
The scheme launched in 2011 on International Women’s Day and since then has gone from strength to strength. Three cohorts of women have now completed the scheme and have, over ten months, received mentoring as well as taking part in organised training and networking activities. The scheme includes time spent in Parliament in London, a trip to the European Parliament, and a residential weekend where mentees will take part in training in the core skills required to be effective in public or parliamentary life. There’s no fees for the programme but attendance at some events is compulsory so you will need to free yourself for at least five days over the course of the programme.
The programme has already delivered some incredible results for its 75 participants and the Fabian Women’s Network. Suzy Stride has been selected as the parliamentary candidate for Harlow, Purna Sen as the PPC for Brighton Pavilion, Uma Kumaran as PPC for Harrow East and Amy Trevethan for Chipping Barnet. A number of others were shortlisted. Nearly 30 women have been selected for local government positions; a number of women have gone on to become school governors and trustees on the boards of charities. Many have gained promotion, been nominated for awards and written or spoken in national media. See the evaluation report Cracks in the Glass Ceiling and some of participants’ comments below.
The Fabian Women’s network is now inviting applications from Fabian women. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a clear interest in politics and a commitment to their own development. The deadline for applications to be a participant is midnight 22 March 2014. The scheme will run from the end of April 2014 to late February 2015. Click here to download the application form and the diversity monitoring form. For queries please contact Christine Megson at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The mentoring scheme helps to challenge you both in your professional ambitions and those assumptions you have made about what you are capable of. It has enabled me to begin to plot a way forward whilst learning from a group of talented and amazing women on the way.” Katy Neep
“The FWN mentoring programme has given me the confidence to push myself further than I thought I could and not just in politics. The support and encouragement from other women who have been on the programme and from the organisers and my mentor has given me the confidence to put myself forward as a council candidate, a school governor and a committee member for London Young Labour.” Unsa Chaudri
“A year on, I’m substantively more active in both political and public life, and have a network of supportive and knowledgeable women within the Fabians Women’s Network whose insight and expertise I can draw on. I learnt a lot from participating in the programme and would really encourage other women with an interest in public and political roles to take part – it might just change your life for ever!” Jemma Wray
“The FWN mentoring scheme had a really significant impact on me. As a young woman who had recently moved to London doing a commercial job I didn’t love, the knowledge sessions, networks, and relationship with my mentor gave me the confidence to switch careers into politics. To have a senior politician give me an hour of her time to update my CV and practise interview questions was amazing!” Kate Talbot
“The FWN programme has found a way to support women from across the country, from across differences in faith, ethnicity, age, sexuality and class and given us the tools to make our voices count.” Rachael Loftus
“The scheme gives participants a chance to challenge themselves, work on their weakness and enhance their strengths through numerous activities. It serves extremely well for political, personal and professional development and most definitely has done in my case. The scheme constantly creates new cohorts of admirable women, from all walks of life, who become eagerly enthused to enforce some form of change in a public space, in line with their own niche goals.” Anandana Bakshi
“The Fabian mentoring programme has been a key element of my political education. As I said to one of the organisers during one of our sessions, ‘If not us, then who? If not now, then when??’ It’s our time, it’s our turn.” Barbara Allen