EEMA We Care Women Mentorship Programme to Cater to Event Entrepreneurs and Employees
by Mugdha Gaonkar Industry Watch | April 15, 2021 | Interview
Poonam Lal We Care Women Mentorship Programme Roshan Abbas Sushma Gaikwad Sanjoy Roy
The Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), through its social vertical We Care, launched the ‘We Care Women Mentorship’ programme (WMP) to encourage women to explore broader opportunities in the industry and groom them for leadership roles. Applications have been invited since 1 April 2021 for the same and the programme will kick off in May, as reported by EVENTFAQS Media.
In an interaction with EVENTFAQS Media, Poonam Lal, Chairperson, EEMA We Care, explains what the intended outcomes of the programme are and the opportunities it will open up for women in the industry.
Tell us about the ‘We Care Women Mentorship’ programme. What prompted it and how long has it been in the works?
The We Care Mentorship Programme is something that has been long coming. A structured programme that empowers talent to be productive and leadership to be entrepreneurial, offering women opportunities to learn from the best in the business, to get better chances to build a strong portfolio of work for themselves as well as create networking breaks for them to grow to leadership positions.
There’s a gender gap in opportunities and consequently growth which prompted the creation of this programme. We have been waiting for an appropriate time to launch WMP, to eventually create equal opportunities at the workplace!
Who is this for? Is there a profile of women that you see as ideal for the programme, in terms of years of experience?
The Mentorship Programme is for women in events, both at the employee level and at the entrepreneur level. While the programme is being given its final shape, along with talent and ambition, a certain amount of experience in the business and commitment is mandatory.
Also, our collaboration with the FICCI Flo Greater 50 will ensure a focused comprehensive programme for women entrepreneurs in the business, while the employees can avail of a separate programme designed for them in the areas of leadership, talent, skills and personality development by We Care.
A due process is being set in place for mentees to apply, keeping their career and personal goals in mind. Post which an appropriate match up with the appropriate mentor(s) will be set in place.
Share some insights on the specific offerings of this programme.
We have launched the programme that goes live from May 2021, with six recognised leaders who have been mentors to several professionals in the business of events: Sabbas Joseph, Roshan Abbas, Sanjoy K Roy, Sushma Gaikwad, Manika Garg and Gitikka Ganju Dhar.
The programme will look at professional and personal growth for the applicants, building leadership skills, personal branding, improving mindsets, helping achieve clarity in goals and more under the guidance and counsel of mentors. Regular reviews and updated goal setting will be undertaken as part of the programme.
There is a view that mentoring has to be on the job, and ongoing. Your views.
While on-job mentoring is the responsibility of employers, EEMA's We Care, as an industry initiative, would provide the opportunity for committed professionals to avail of external mentors who could be people from educational institutes, career counsellors, achievers, proven leaders, idols, who can fulfil the roles of motivating mentors at various stages through a person's career journey.
In the case of the We Care Mentorship Programme, we are confident that through brief interventions from proven leaders, we would be able to guide chosen mentees to set goals that motivate their career; and to help them develop skills or insights that would power their professional career into a higher degree of success compared to what could possibly be achieved in their regular jobs or using company resources.
What kind of opportunities do you see opening up for women with the ‘We Care Women Mentorship’ programme?
We definitely see a spike in women presence and participation in boardrooms and them being groomed for leadership roles. We see women proactively raising their hands for more demanding projects. We see more mentors recommending the mentees for additional responsibilities that they are cut out for. The programme will also open networking opportunities for them to explore thereby allowing them better career growth.
We Care has expanded in scope from helping women to helping professionals irrespective of gender today. What are some of the major issues that men and women in the event industry have faced in the last few months, in your experience of running the 24X7 helpline? In recent times, have the calls reduced?
The helpline being changed to a 24x7 one during the pandemic has increased the number of callers and the profile became more inclusive. Not surprising, since COVID hit everyone equally. So, people needed counselling, hand holding, emotional support and guidance through some of the most traumatic times ever seen. For the first few months, we saw a higher percentage of men calling the helpline. Thankfully, things have settled a little, and yes, we receive marginally lesser calls now as businesses have started to open up albeit slowly.
With the second wave hitting our country and snuffing out hopes of an early revival for our industry, the helpline will continue to be very important and useful.
Please share some of the most important guidelines of the EEMA We Care initiative and how can one apply?
The We Care initiative essentially recommends that agencies follow all POSH mandates as laid down by the government. It also suggests putting in place simple employee safeguards and recommends regular POSH workshops and education for employees. It also propagates zero tolerance policy against harassment with an ICC in place for member organisations.
It has been one year since the lockdown and several people are still out of a job as uncertainty looms. Do you think event professionals of the future should be trained so that they are employable outside the domain?
We work in a collaborative world today. Our industry is integrated into PR, digital, social media initiatives aggressively. On another hand event tourism has opened new vistas and opportunities. The content creation world has opened avenues in the area of creativity, production, production design and also non-fiction content. Future employers could vary from media and entertainment companies to tourism boards, OTT platforms, radio and television networks.
Employers and employees should be constantly studying and understanding opportunities and developments in our related industries; their future would be in collaborations that expand opportunities across the creative economy.
Also read: EEMA We Care Launches Mentorship Programme at #MarchforWomen event; Mentees Can Apply from April 1
(Updated at 11:45 hrs on 15 April with inputs to the last two questions.)
Programme for entrepreneurs in collaboration with FICCI Flo Greater 50, one for employees designed by We Care, reveals Chairperson Poonam Lal. The end objective is equal opportunities.