Taa Marbouta: Applications reopen for MENA’s first women-to-women PR mentorship programme

Taa Marbouta, a first-of-its-kind initiative launched in MENA by PRCA MENA, Global Women in PR MENA, and Memac Ogilvy to advance the careers of women, today announced that applications for its woman-to-woman mentorship programme have reopened. Now welcoming a second cohort of mentors and mentees, the development sees Taa Marbouta continue its mission of supporting young professionals to succeed in the industry by addressing the shortfall in mentor-mentee relationships between women.

Interested professionals can apply now to be a mentor or mentee via the Taa Marbouta page of the PRCA MENA website.

The launch of the mentorship programme’s second cohort coincides with Taa Marbouta’s first anniversary, following its successful launch on International Women’s Day 2021.

Since then, the free-to-join programme has forged many meaningful long-term relationships while helping to shift the narrative on mentorship being a male-dominated undertaking to an equally female-oriented role.

Despite women being well represented in PR and communications, the majority of senior positions and management roles are held by men. This has reduced the number of mentor-mentee relationships between women and, therefore, the support avenues available to young talent. Taa Marbouta addresses this imbalance by providing mentorship opportunities from out in the wider industry, accelerating the growth of mentees and consequently, the industry at large.

Mentees gain mental and emotional support on topics including hybrid working and being more visible in the workplace; building skill sets to combat new industry challenges; and articulating clearly and confidently in a male-dominated setting.

The mentorship programme is just one part of the Taa Marbouta movement. The initiative also includes a four-point mandate outlining a commitment men can make in the workplace to play their part in realising the aims of the programme. Additionally, the programme’s Saraha Series forum is an annual event to create discussion and debate on the challenges, solutions, and progress related to the representation of women in the media industry and related fields.

“Year one of Taa Marbouta was a real success story with our mentees reporting major steps forward thanks to their mentorships — but there’s more work to be done,” commented Hayley Clements, General Manager at PRCA MENA. “Applications for our second cohort are now open as we continue to expand our community of ambitious female PR and communications professionals who are motivated to inspire, learn, and support each other.”

Global creative communications network Memac Ogilvy, a founding partner of Taa Marbouta, will continue being the creative driving force behind the programme.

“As year two begins for Taa Marbouta, we’re as committed as ever to helping realise the programme’s mission,” commented David Fox, Memac Ogilvy’s Chief Executive Officer MENA. “The gender bias we see in the professional world won’t simply go away — it’s something that must be tackled continuously by both senior men and women. Part of that is being realised through Taa Marbouta’s unique mentor programme, connecting senior women talent with the stars of tomorrow. Importantly, the lack of senior women across the industry means that by opening up our young stars to seasoned female talent across the sector, we can actively support more aspiring talent, reducing the imbalance of leadership and boosting the quality and value of our industry.”

Eleven mentors from industry-leading organisations including Microsoft, GEMS Education, She is Arab, and Dubai Media Office signed up to the Taa Marbouta mission during the launch of the first cohort. Among them was Kelly Harvarde, Client Lead at Memac Ogilvy. “There is incredible female talent in this region and to be able to grow and nurture that talent as a mentor is extremely rewarding,” noted Harvarde. “Taa Marbouta is all about fostering a community where women support each other. I’m delighted to play a part in this programme as we work together to encourage and elevate regional female talent.”

Bana Khalaf, Account Manager at M&C Saatchi and one of the programme’s first mentees added: “Taa Marbouta has been a huge part of my career during the past year. It’s helped me to not only show exceptional progress in providing quality service to my clients, but also commitment and motivation in everything I’ve learned. I believe that a good mentorship programme will empower young talent to achieve their best, believe in themselves, and strive further in the market.”

With the launch of applications for the programme’s second cohort, Taa Marbouta is searching for seasoned women professionals from both agency and client-side organisations in PR, communications, and related fields who are willing to commit their time, experience and resources to a young mentee. The programme also seeks new and motivated mentees in the same industries who are eager to accelerate their career growth through the power of their network.

Interested professionals who wish to be a mentor or mentee can apply here