WHat's this all About?


The importance of mentorship can’t be undervalued. Mentors offer feedback, advice, connections, and outside perspectives that often lead to professional success and personal improvement. Unfortunately, there’s a dearth of mentors for women working in journalism, in part because there’s a lack of women at the highest ranks of the industry.

This project is one attempt to solve that problem. It was borne out of a repeated question from women who participated in Poynter’s Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media and ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator: How can we give back? Alumnae from both programs have volunteered their time to offer free 30-minute coaching sessions for women looking for mentorship.


What should you talk about during your coaching session? That’s entirely up to you, but here are a few tips to make the most of your call:

  • Plan ahead of time what you’d like to address. Limit yourself to no more than three areas to tackle, and pay attention to time during your conversation.

  • Instead of focusing on one problem that’s specific to your work experience, identify the underlying issues at play. For example, let’s say you’re having trouble getting a direct report to turn in work on time. Instead of spending your coaching session dwelling on frustrations with that particular employee, you can ask about tips on delegating or ideas on how to motivate people.

  • Be respectful of your mentor’s time; these calls are on a volunteer basis, and the women participating have busy schedules!

  • End your session with a game plan. Try and identify next steps, or decide on a deadline for when you'd like to meet a goal.

If you’re a woman working in journalism, we hope you’ll take advantage of this free resource. If coaching slots are full, check back later — we will add additional coaches and times when possible.


Still have questions? Here's a handy FAQ with more information about this project.


This site was built by Katie Hawkins-Gaar, who runs the Leadership Academy for Women in Digital Media as an independent consultant. This project is connected to but not formally affiliated with The Poynter Institute or the Online News Association.