DIVERSITY IN ACTION. PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) embraces our mission to empower women with every fiber of our collective being. And likewise we embrace diversity. So, lest our touting #womenempoweringwomen gave the impression otherwise, we thought it was high time to shine a light on an important part of our program across our 11 years of serving women entrepreneurs: men.
Or, as we like to call them around the Institute: man-tors. Mentorship is a key component of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r), and in fact, often the most beloved portion of students’ tracks of business training. Our goal is to bring the best of the best to our graduates, so that they learn the premiere practices to take back to their home countries upon completion of Leadership Development.
Mark Wagner, Major in the US Air Force, gives of his personal time to the women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and Rwanda who matriculated through PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r). Having served in Afghanistan himself in Provincial Reconstruction Teams, he is uniquely qualified to mentor a student like Zuhal Askarimi, whose logistics company seeks to prove a woman can break into a male-dominated field. A fifth year mentor, Mark gathered a team of airmen to join him in working with Zuhal to build her business plan across the 10-weeks of in-country classes earlier this year. The men, pictured above, reported that they enjoyed coming together to give back and contribute their knowledge toward our greater good. In fact, we have been so wowed by Mark’s dedication these past years, that we recently invited him to join our National Advisory Committee.
Man-tors, we know, aren’t the only male stars within the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) galaxy. The women who enroll in Rwanda and Afghanistan consistently tell us that men in their lives…fathers, brothers, sons, husbands, friends…have encouraged and supported them on their paths to entrepreneurial excellence. In countries where women still fight to secure even the most basic of rights, this is a huge gift and one that needs to be recognized as it’s often given in silence without public recognition. Thank you to all the men who have given to the women of PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r), from the smallest nod of support to the largest gift of time that Mark Wagner and company give, we salute you!