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The Magenta Project Mentoring Programme

The 6th annual Magenta Mentoring Programme, the first worldwide mentoring programme in sailing, is now open to applications for its 2023/24 cohort. Applications are open to mentees and mentors worldwide who are interested in becoming or supporting the future leaders of the sailing industry.

The Magenta Project, the international non-profit dedicated to equity and inclusion in sailing, established this annual programme in 2018 to help develop more female talent and leadership in the industry. The Magenta Mentoring Programme pairs rising talent in the industry with leaders in our sport to work on goal planning and career development through one-on-one mentoring over a 9-month period.

In a survey of 2022/23 Magenta Mentees, 92% reported after the 9-month mentoring programme they are now closer to their goals. “Meeting sailors on a similar level and drive to myself was a big value I gained from the Magenta Mentoring Programme. It was also valuable breaking down goal setting with my mentor so I can make reasoned decisions in my career and not plateau in my performance,” said Kate Jordan, New Zealand, whose mentor was Andy James, UK.

Kate was one of eight Magenta mentees and alumni who were part of The Ocean Race VO65 campaigns this year, showing the strong network effect and placement of Magenta talent at high level events. Taking full advantage of Magenta network offerings, Kate worked in a week-long IMOCA internship at the Route du Rhum, offered through the Magenta Project, within her first month as a Mentee.

In addition to the structured mentoring programme, the Magenta Project offers its mentees and alumni exclusive access to sailing and career development opportunities through industry partners such as IMOCA and Foiling Week.

“The most significant change for me through [the Programme] was transitioning from solely focusing on long-range offshore sailing as my ultimate goal and aspiration, to starting to delve into the foiling world. After participating with Magenta at Foiling Week, I gained foiling experience to ultimately become better skilled all-around in sailing and will hopefully achieve future crew positions on foiling boats as well as offshore keelboats,” shared Maddie Lyons, Australia.

Since 2018, the programme has supported the development of over 200 women pursuing careers in the sailing industry. The Mentoring Programme offers various tracks to help guide sailors in offshore, inshore, transitioning, STEM and shoreside career pathways. Mentees are matched with a mentor, as well as alumni and fellow mentees, to support their development and goals.

In 2022/23, mentees experienced a new curriculum with monthly webinars featuring guest speakers from the industry. The hour-long monthly meetings proved worthwhile, with 96% of Mentees reporting that their skills and knowledge have benefitted from the monthly webinar curriculum. Discussion topics began with personal CVs and goal setting at the beginning of the programme, to wellness, inshore, offshore, weather and STEM career pathways. The final month’s webinar was organised by Mentees, and this year’s cohort chose “Inclusion Pathways Around the World” and produced a DEI toolkit as a resource for programmes worldwide.

This year, the Magenta Mentoring Programme further will expand its support of mentors with a mentor development curriculum designed by industry experts to assist with remote coaching and leadership development. “Our mentors are our greatest resource. We aim to further invest in the development of mentors and the Magenta programme worldwide, and we welcome new mentors to join the programme,” said Meg Reilly, Executive Director of The Magenta Project.

The Magenta Project’s mentoring programme is truly international, welcoming mentees and mentors from over 20 countries to participate in this off-water and online mentoring programme. While all curriculum and mentoring sessions are accessible online through Magenta’s Zoom platform, mentoring pairs, mentees and alumni are all encouraged to meet up in person, at international Magenta events, or arrange their own regional event whenever possible.

Applications for the 2023/24 Magenta Mentoring Programme, for both Mentees and Mentors, are open until 31st August 2023. Selections and matches will be made by the end of September, with the 9-month programme officially beginning in October.

Apply online by 31 August: themagentaproject.org/mentoring.

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