‘First Mentor’ initiative to return

‘First Mentor’ initiative to return

The initiative, which gives young women a chance to be mentored by the First Minister, will run again in 2018 following the success of last year's programme.

Applications for the First Mentor initiative, which gives a young woman between the age of 18 and 23 a chance to learn from the First Minister, have reopened today.

And in order to enable more young women to benefit from the programme, Scottish Chambers of Commerce has also committed to match some of the shortlisted candidates with mentors in their network.

The First Minister announced the launch on International Women’s Day during a visit to Tribe Porty. The Portobello-based social enterprise is piloting a women in enterprise project – the Tribe Women Enterprise School, with support from the Scottish Government.

She also called on other women in leadership roles to join her by pledging to give some of their time to help a woman or girl achieve her goals.

The First Minister said: “Through the ‘First Mentor’ initiative I have the pleasure of mentoring Charlotte Liddell, a young mum of two from Fife.

"Seeing her grow in confidence and discover her potential in the past few months has been a truly enriching experience, and she has also taught me a lot by giving me a new perspective on the many issues affecting young people today.

"That is why I have decided to extend the ‘First Mentor’ initiative and look for a mentee again this year, with the help of Young Scot.

“I am also calling on other women in leadership roles to join me. Not just Chief Executives or Chairs of big organisations, but any woman who feels that she has something to offer.

"By giving our time and sharing our experiences, we can support a new generation of women to reach their potential, and learn from them in return.”

Liddell said: “Through this mentorship programme, I’ve been given opportunities that I had only ever dreamt of. Too often, young people are told they will never amount to anything – especially young parents.

"This mentorship has inspired me to help other young people to believe in themselves – especially those whose voices are not heard.”

Liz Cameron OBE, director and chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, added: “Young talent is the lifeblood of any nation and it’s critical that we shine a torch on the path ahead and guide young people to future success.

"That’s why I am delighted that the First Mentor initiative will run again, building on the success from last year.

"Matching ambitious, driven and aspiring young women with experienced and successful women from industry, is a powerful combination, positively impacting Scotland’s economy and our communities.”