Elite Female Athletes to Mentor Top Female Business Leaders in New Global Mentoring Program

Elite Female Athletes to Mentor Top Female Business Leaders in New Global Mentoring Program

LONDON, June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ A new global mentoring program is being launched today by EY's Women Athletes Business Network, in partnership with the International Women's Forum (IWF), to harness the untapped leadership potential of female athletes after their retirement from sport. Applications for the mentoring program open today on the Women Athletes Business Network website and close on 1 August.

Elite women athletes, who have transitioned or are in the process of transitioning from a career in sport, will be matched with prominent female business leaders from the IWF membership. For the duration of the program, mentees will also be connected with an EY liaison that will provide access and introductions to EY's internal and external global business networks. In this inaugural year, 25 "elite athletes" defined as having currently or previously competed professionally or semi-professionally or at the national or international level will be selected.

Beth Brooke-Marciniak, EY's Global Vice Chair, Public Policy, says: "Female athletes have leadership skills that can't be taught in the classroom. Our research shows that 96% of top female executives played sport, with more than half competing at the university level. The world needs more women leaders and we believe that elite female athletes are a unique talent pipeline. This new mentoring program is focused on building a bridge between women in the business world and women in sport to help open doors and create new career and leadership opportunities for these extraordinary individuals."

The partnership gives the Women Athletes Business Network access to IWF's membership of 6,000 senior women executives in 33 nations on six continents. Their mentor members women who have reached the pinnacle of leadership in their respective field will share their insights, lessons and leadership expertise with athlete mentees.

Deedee Corradini, Immediate Past President and Global Ambassador, International Women's Forum, says: "For more than 20 years, IWF has lifted the prospects and expanded the reach for emerging women leaders around the world. We are especially excited to join with EY on this new mentoring program to support elite women athletes as they move forward in their leadership journeys. IWF knows the value these women of talent and potential can bring to the world."

Olympic champion and former president of the Women's Sports Foundation, Donna de Varona, serves as the lead advisor to EY's Women Athletes Business Network and its new mentoring program. "Connecting accomplished women athletes with the world's most pre-eminent women outside the sporting community can only enhance the talent pool of those who are eager to lead, inspire and make a positive impact in our changing world," says de Varona.

Online community for female athletes also launched

EY has also recently launched a new online community for female athletes to facilitate connections among current and retired athletes around the world. The online community provides individualized career assessments, resume building tools, networking tips, stories of post-sport career success and a host of other resources.