What is Taa Marbouta?
Taa Marbouta is an open to all, women-to-women mentorship programme designed to empower the next generation of woman PR professionals. The programme addresses the damaging shortfall of women mentors in PR — a sector where men dominate senior positions and are twice as likely to receive promotions. The result is that young women are being left behind without the support or opportunities they need to progress.
The programme’s launch marks a moment of change for women mentorship across all industries as it helps to reset the narrative that mentorship is a male-only venture and plug the gap for women between junior and senior positions.
Where does the name ‘Taa Marbouta’ come from?
Taa Marbouta is the letter used to create the feminine version of words in Arabic — one that’s used all too sparingly when we look up words such as mentorship, guidance or advice. So, it’s symbolic of precisely what the programme aims to achieve — giving women greater prominence as mentors.
What does the Taa Marbouta symbol mean?
Our programme logo is so much more than a logo. It’s symbolic of a more equal and supportive future — inspiring generations to come while helping to make mentorship synonymous with women.
What is the mission of Taa Marbouta?
By women, for women; Taa Marbouta is redefining women’s success and progression in PR and challenging mentorship as both a male-dominated undertaking and a masculine-conjugated word.
We want to provide young women at the very start of their careers with a more direct pathway to the boardroom. To do so, our mentorship programme will connect senior, successful women in PR with emerging women talent, helping to foster long-lasting, meaningful relationships between women of equal strength and ambition despite being at different stages in their careers.
Alongside this, we aim to use Taa Marbouta as a symbol of change, visually spelling out the challenge that women face when it comes to seeking women mentors.
Who founded and owns the programme?
The programme is co-owned by founding partners PRCA MENA (the world’s largest Public Relations Association) and GWPR (Global Women in PR), with global integrated communications network Ogilvy as a founding partner and creative partner.
What is PRCA MENA’s, GWPR MENA’s, and Memac Ogilvy’s role in Taa Marbouta?
Taa Marbouta is a co-lead project by PRCA MENA and GWPR MENA. Their role is to facilitate the communication between mentors and mentees, arrange sessions, provide information and feedback, manage requests and applications, and manage events, gatherings, and content related to Taa Marbouta.
Memac Ogilvy is a founding partner and the driving creative and communications force behind Taa Marbouta, responsible for the programme’s identity and outputs. Memac Ogilvy is also committing two Original Inductees to the programme, alongside PRCA MENA and GWPR MENA.
How long does the mentorship programme last?
From each mentor we expect a minimum 12-month commitment to mentoring and contributing to the programme. Mentors are able to renew for an additional 12-months should they feel they have more to contribute.
How do I become a mentor?
You can apply to be a mentor by visiting the Taa Marbouta section of the PRCA MENA website — prca.mena.global/taa-marbouta — and downloading the application form. After completing the application form, please submit it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I apply to become a mentor, am I guaranteed to be accepted?
Unfortunately not. Although we want to attract the most diverse group of mentors possible to cater to the unique personal wants and needs of today’s talent, we cannot guarantee that every mentor applicant will meet the eligibility criteria. This is not to say you won’t be accepted in the future, however, as your experience and skills grow.
What is the eligibility criteria to become a Taa Marbouta mentor?
Eligible mentors must possess 10 years of experience in PR and communications, or roles related to it.
Will I have any say in who my mentee is?
Yes. Taa Marbouta will review mentee applications and approach approved mentors who we believe are the most suitable fit for them. Together we’ll decide whether to formally launch a mentor-mentee relationship between you and the applicant in question.
What are the responsibilities and commitments of the programme mentors?
As an experienced and trusted advisor, we hope that your connections with the next generation of women in PR will be long-lasting to help them grow and thrive.
The expectations will be clearly laid out in a service level agreement, and will include:
- One hour of mentoring time per mentee per month (additional hours allowed at your discretion).
- Appearance at a quarterly event/discussion held by the Taa Marbouta team.
- Provide quarterly feedback on the programme, your mentee(s), your progress, and any additional suggestions for improvement.
- Ongoing promotion of the programme and your role at your discretion.
- To feature in an interview for the Taa Marbouta webpage and social channels (published via PRCA MENA channels).
What support will I receive as a mentor?
Each mentor will be able to attend a live mentor training session, conducted by Ogilvy’s Chief People Officer.
Additionally, guideline modules will be provided when your mentee is assigned to help you drive progress and growth. However, should you wish to run the programme your own way, you are entitled to do so.
How will my mentee(s) be assigned?
We don’t allow mentees to request an individual. We are eager to place people with those we believe will benefit them most. Therefore, we will create a mentor profile for you. Mentees will be asked to fill in a mentee application form that outlines the type of support they feel they need (career advice, how to approach the senior board, how to articulate achievements, how to build confidence, etc.) and Taa Marbouta will then assign mentors to mentees as accurately as possible based on that information.
What if I don’t connect with my mentee?
That’s fine, and natural. Frequent feedback will allow us to facilitate communication and nurture relationships. But should you feel you want the programme to stop, that can be arranged, and a new mentee assigned to you.
How many mentees can I take on at once?
As many as you like. We want mentors to commit to one mentee only, but should you find the time and energy to take on more, it would be greatly appreciated.
Are mentors paid to be a part of the programme?
No. All mentors dedicate their time and wisdom to mentees free of charge. Rather than a fee, they’re motivated by a desire to reverse a challenge that’s holding young women talent back from progressing to senior positions in PR and communications.
What support will I receive as a mentee?
As a mentee, you will be assigned the most suitable mentor to help you achieve your ambitions based on the details provided in your application, and the profiles drawn up by our mentors.
Once the mentorship partnership is agreed, you’ll receive one hour of mentoring time per month, with additional hours allowed if you and your mentor agree to it. These sessions will address important challenges and opportunities facing professional women today, including helping to deal with working from home and being less visible in the workplace; capability and skills building to combat new industry challenges; guidance on how to articulate more loudly and clearly in a male-dominated setting; and more
You will also be provided with structured, actionable feedback each quarter to assess your progress towards your goals, set new goals, and agree the areas of focus for the coming quarter.
If I apply, am I guaranteed to be accepted onto the programme?
No, but our eligibility criteria for mentees is deliberately broad so the programme can benefit as many people as possible.
What is the eligibility criteria for mentees?
Mentees must currently be in a PR or communications role, up to mid-level.
Am I involved in choosing my mentor?
No. This decision will be made by PRCA MENA, GWPR MENA, and our mentors based on your profile, priorities, and goals, to make sure you’re matched with a professional who can provide the best support possible.
What if I’m not satisfied with my mentor?
We’ll do everything we can to help you and your mentor create a productive and positive relationship. If you do feel your mentor partner is not best suited to you, we can stop the relationship and assign you a new mentor.
Do I need to pay to become a programme mentee?
No. Just as mentors receive no fee for their involvement, mentees are not required to pay to benefit from the programme.