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Applications now open for our mentoring programme


** Please note that applications for the 2015 cohort have now closed. **

Following the astounding success of the first four years of the Fabian Women’s Network Mentoring and Political Education Programme, we are now recruiting our fifth cohort of aspiring women. If you are a woman looking to develop or further a career in politics or public life then this could be the scheme for you.

Taking part will enable you to develop your political skills and increase the impact and influence you can have on political and public life through mentoring from one of a number of highly influential women, along with bespoke training and peer-group support.

The programme launched in 2011 on International Women’s Day and since then has gone from strength to strength. Four cohorts have now completed the scheme and have, over ten months, received mentoring as well as taking part in organised training and networking activities. The scheme includes time spent in parliament in London, a trip to the European parliament, a series of networking and other events, and a residential weekend where mentees will take part in training in the core skills required to be effective in public or parliamentary life.

The programme has already delivered some incredible results for its 100 participants and the Fabian Women’s Network. Six mentees were selected as parliamentary candidates and put up an amazing fight in the general election, with brilliant support from other mentees. Many others were shortlisted. 21 women have been elected into local government positions and a number of women have gone on to become school governors and trustees on the boards of charities. The majority has gained promotion, been nominated for awards and written or spoken in national media. See the evaluation report, Cracks in the Glass Ceiling, and some participants’ comments below.

How to apply

The Fabian Women’s network is now inviting applications from Fabian women. Applicants must be able to demonstrate a clear interest in politics and a commitment to their own development. The deadline for applications to be a participant is midnight 15 June 2015. The scheme will run from mid-September 2015 to June 2016.

  1. Click here to download an application form

  2. Click here to download a diversity monitoring form, which we ask that you submit with your application

For queries about applying for the programme please contact Christine Megson at

What our alumni have to say

“I’m now putting myself forward for things I never would have dreamed of doing before – I’m setting my own bar higher. With the confidence-building and support I’ve received I’m now the deputy leader of my Labour group, a shadow spokesperson, and have written for the New Statesman. The scheme has been genuinely life-changing for me. People across both my personal and professional life have noticed a big change in me. If you’re thinking about applying, don’t hesitate – just go for it! I’m so glad I did.” Abena Oppong-Asare

“I think people have different versions of themselves depending on the context they are in. Whenever I leave one of the mentoring events, I walk out the door feeling like the best version of me – that I have the confidence and the support to achieve what I want to.” Hannah Iqbal

“The mentoring scheme helps to challenge you both in your professional ambitions and those assumptions you have made about what you are capable of. It has enabled me to begin to plot a way forward while learning from a group of talented and amazing women on the way.” Katy Neep

“The FWN mentoring scheme had a really significant impact on me. As a young woman who had recently moved to London doing a commercial job I didn’t love, the knowledge sessions, networks, and relationship with my mentor gave me the confidence to switch careers into politics. To have a senior politician give me an hour of her time to update my CV and practise interview questions was amazing!” Kate Talbot

“The FWN programme has found a way to support women from across the country, from across differences in faith, ethnicity, age, sexuality and class and given us the tools to make our voices count.” Rachael Loftus

“The mentoring scheme has changed my life. The year on the scheme was motivating and empowering. I learned to be proud of my skills and not shy away from my ambitions. It felt great to be part of a group of like-minded women who were all a similar journey. The friendships I have made with my fellow mentees are perhaps the best thing about the scheme. Whatever I decide to pursue in politics, I know there is group of strong, smart and supportive women who will be in my corner – and I, in turn, will be in their corner.” Shama Tatler

“The scheme is so diverse and engaging. Whether you’re dipping your toe into the idea of public or political life, or you are already quite experienced, it offers something for everyone. Nobody feels uncomfortable or out of their depth.” Joy Allen

“I feel like I’ve been mentored by everybody else on the scheme! I think mentoring gives me the permission I needed to get around the table and make a strong contribution. The balance between theory and practice on the scheme is fantastic: our public speaking training and then practice genuinely changed my view of my own potential.” Zahra Alijah

“The scheme has helped me find my political voice. I now feel I have legitimacy, knowledge, courage of my convictions, and the best group of supporters anyone could ask for!” Catherine Fookes

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