Women Leaders Mentorship – Eurocities Academy

13 June 2024

The Women City Leaders Mentorship Programme is an initiative designed to empower the next generation of female leaders in city governments across Europe. This programme, delivered by the Eurocities Academy, fosters mentorship relationships between experienced female mayors and less experienced female deputy mayors or city councillors, establishing a support network that encourages personal, professional and political growth.

Current female deputy mayors or city councillors seeking mentorship, or mayors seeking to mentor, are invited to fill in this form before 1 July to apply.

Despite significant progress in various sectors, women still face substantial barriers in achieving top leadership positions in European city governments. Challenges such as gender biases, limited access to influential networks, and the scarcity of female role models in senior leadership positions have resulted in less than 20% of European mayors being women by 2020. The Women City Leaders Mentorship Programme is designed to address these issues.

With the participation of mayors like Strasbourg’s Jeanne Barseghian, as well as other female leaders like European Commissioner Elisa Ferreira, one of the primary goals of the programme is to establish a trust relationship between an experienced leader (mentor) and a less experienced female deputy mayor or city councillor (mentee).

The mentor will support the mentee in reflecting on her situation, position and ambitions, while providing advice, encouragement and guidance on the pathway to mayorship. The programme seeks to promote positive examples of women leadership in local governments by creating a network of role models and enhancing leadership, negotiation and decision-making skills among female deputy mayors and city councillors.

Participants in the programme have specific requirements. Mentors must be current or former women mayors from Eurocities members, with preferably two years of experience in the role. They should demonstrate a commitment to gender equality, possess excellent listening skills, and have the willingness and availability to engage regularly with their mentee.

Mentees should be women deputy mayors and city councillors from Eurocities members seeking to enhance their leadership skills in city government. It is important for mentees to choose the themes and challenges they want to work on with their mentors.

The nine-month mentorship journey begins in September 2024 with an online onboarding session and culminates in a closing ceremony at the 2025 Eurocities Annual Conference in Braga. The programme includes regular one-on-one mentorship sessions, which will be scheduled by participants’ teams in their preferred format (online, by call, in-person) to allow flexibility. A 30-minute monthly session is suggested.

Additionally, there will be two ‘fireside talks,’ which are group sessions hosted by current and former female politicians to address topics of shared relevance for women political leaders. Further details are available in this leaflet.

Time investment for participants includes approximately 10 hours for online activities and two days in-person for the closing ceremony in Braga. Current and former women mayors can apply to become mentors, and current women deputy mayors and councillors can apply to become mentees by filling in this form before 1 July.


Guillem Ramirez Chico Project Developer - Eurocities Academy