USP professors create mentoring project for women economists

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A group of professors from the University of São Paulo (USP) created a mentoring group to help young economists enter the job market. The initiative emerged from the EconomistAs study group, which conducts research on gender issues at USP’s Faculty of Economics and Administration.

“We’ve always developed some mentoring initiatives for graduate students at the college, but we wanted to make a more structured program,” explains one of the group’s coordinators, Professor Paula Pereda. Partnership signed with a platform will allow the connection between mentors and young professionals.

Students or recent graduates in economics are accepted for up to five years after graduation or postgraduate (master’s and doctoral) degrees. Mentors, however, can be of any gender, just needing enough professional experience to assist in the insertion of beginners in the profession.

According to Paula, the project has a structure with a script for mentoring, training for mentors, covering pre-defined content. “In addition to increasing the mentors’ network of contacts, generating a networkingthe idea is to work on self-esteem and career aspirations”, he details.

Different approaches will be offered for professionals who want to work in private companies or the public sector and for those who prefer to pursue an academic career. “Mentorships will be separated by private sector experience and academic interests. So we’re going to have academic mentors and mentors who work in the private and public sector, outside academia,” adds Paula.

The project aims to reach young professionals from locations with less availability of opportunities. “Students from the most renowned universities, such as USP, already have access to our network. So, the idea is to expand a little to those outside the Rio-São Paulo axis”, adds the coordinator.

In the future, the group hopes to expand the proposal to others with difficult access, such as black people.

So far, more than 100 professionals interested in receiving support and 30 willing to be mentors have signed up.

The ECONecta program application form is available on the EconomistAs group page.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News

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