Knowledge Note

Mentors can motivate young women and help them persevere in the face of difficulties with their businesses or employment, as well as in their personal lives. Studies from developed countries show that mentoring can have positive motivational outcomes that could in turn lead to better educational and professional outcomes. Mentoring has been shown to lead to the development of coping skills and an increased willingness to challenge oneself and attempt new experiences. Mentors can also serve as role models who help grow girls’ aspirations and provide them with active reinforcement to overcome gender bias in labor markets. In India, Beaman et al (2012) found that exposure to women in positions of leadership and power has a role model effect that can change adolescent girls’ preferences around education, desired fertility and their desired occupation. Campos et al (2013) suggest that exposure to role models can be a critical determinant of whether or not women cross-over into male dominated sectors. Mentors may also play an important role in access to information, a proven barrier to girls’ successful entrance into the labor market. Mentors can inform young women about educational or employment opportunities, and can link them to other services and networks. Mentors can play an important role in youth employment programs by reinforcing training lessons outside of the classroom and after the classroom training period concludes.

About the Presenters

Adolescent Girls Initiative