Women On Top

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Women On Top: A mentoring network for women

GreeceAthens, Greece
Year Founded:
2012
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Women On Top is a mentoring network for women from any work field or life stage. We are like a matchmaking service, with mentors instead of partners. We find and approach the ideal mentor for you and ask her to help you make work one of the best parts of your life.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if every woman felt that she has all the support she needs in order to explore a rewarding career and bring change into the world through her unique creativity and talent?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Even when they aren't been hit by unemployment, Greek women face a grim professional reality, due to a gender-biased social mindset, a prominent gender pay-gap and a lack of social welfare for working mothers. Women who are trying to either find employment, climb the professional ladder or start their own business can rarely find the support they need to overcome these obstacles and participate fully in the Greek economy and society as a whole.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

A network of women from all professional fields and life stages, ready to support one another in all and every challenge they face at work. A platform that will enable women to share their knowledge and experience in order to help younger ones to find their way and make it to the top without re-inventing the wheel, every time. A place where every woman can find the appropriate mentor, who can give her the answers she needs in order to make her dreams a reality.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Women On Top aims to address and has already addressed the needs of a) unemployed women, who are much more successful at their job hunt when they are supported by a mentor who has already walked the walk in their chosen field and can offer them guidance as well as networking; b) working mothers, who need a special kind of support in order to balance their work and family lives and be able to honor their changing priorities; c) other vulnerable groups of women, such as young entrepreneurs, women working in male-dominated environments, women on a career change, women with special needs and cancer survivors. Using mentoring as our primary focus and tool, we also offer seminars focusing on the different needs and goals of those distinct groups

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Since our launch in February 2012, we have matched more than 80 women with a mentor deemed appropriate for their needs and aspirations by our professional development consultants. Our candidate mentorees come from all over Greece and the pool of our volunteer mentors also includes mentors from abroad. More than half of these mentoring pairs have found their collaboration valuable for their professional development and have linked it to some very important positive steps they have taken in their careers. We have also organised 4 training seminars for freelancers, small entrepreneurs and working/unemployed mothers (Social Media for Small Enterprises, Time Management, LinkedIn as a Tool of Professional Development, Rights of Working Mothers), as well as 2 mentors' meetings and a half-day conference for women entrepreneurs.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Long term, from a basis of 3.750.000 Greek women we aim to reach and support an audience of 750.000. There are also plans to go international, with the vision to create a worldwide network of women that supports their creativity, professional development, equality, participation, entrepreneurship and mobility.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We count on several revenue streams such as: - Premium membership packages - Advertising on the WoT platform - Seminars, conferences, networking events, fairs and professional development services - Sponsorship - European funded projects

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Most mentoring schemes in Greece are designed either for specific industry sectors (e.g. engineers) or are specifically addressed to entrepreneurs (IforU, Business Mentors etc). Others, like Job Pairs, focus on specific age groups and/or issues (such as unemployment). We believe that women who need the most support for their professional development are often the ones who don't usually benefit from typical entrepreneurship boosting schemes. And that, irrespective of their age, all women have creative dreams and deserve all the support they can find in order to bring them to life.
Team

Founding Story

In 2010,Women On Top co-founder and journalist Stella Kasdagli was pregnant with her daughter and felt overwhelmed by questions having to do with her career and the balance between her shifting priorities. She would love to find a woman who had been through it all herself, but didn't feel comfortable being mentor by a co-worker or boss. She then realized that if she herself had a hard time finding a suitable mentor to help her face her work-related challenges, how would other women, less privileged and well-connected than her, find theirs? That's when she envisioned a network where any woman, from any work field whatsoever, could find a suitable mentor to help her avoid reinventing the wheel every time. Two years later Women On Top was born

Team

Stella Kasdagli and Galini Iliopoulou, Women On Top co-founders, share the same passion for women's professional and creative development and combine between them a considerable experience on working with women and the media and a thorough background in Human Resources and professional development. Long term, we plan to recruit team members with a deeper business experience, in order to help Women On Top grow in a profitable and sustainable way.
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