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Mercatora is a capacity building and networking program for female (junior) professionals of the Mercator Alumni Network. The program aims to equip alumnae with relevant strategies for their everyday professional life, to encourage them to take on leadership roles, and to connect with and empower each other.

Mercatora brings together women across sectors who want to develop personally and professionally together and learn through experience and exchange. Within the network of Mercatora, engagement and participation can continue through a variety of ways.


Background


Whether working in education, international understanding, media, culture, politics, philanthropy or science, many qualified women from the Mercator Alumni Network report major challenges on their way to the top echelons of their institutions. Equal opportunities in work and society and representative participation of women in leading positions are still a long way off. Male-dominated networks and structures still dominate. Functioning networks can therefore be decisive for filling top positions.
This is where Mercatora comes in: It wants to provide women who already have initial management experience or are planning to advance their career with further qualifications and encourage them to take on more responsibility and exploit their full potential.

Program

Since 2017,  the program of Mercatora has given alumnae of Stiftung Mercator the opportunity to exchange ideas, receive further training, and advise each other in a structured and peer-to-peer manner during a program year. Alumnae learn strategies for professional development in small groups and in a "safe space" setting, and can exchange ideas and experiences with other alumnae and experienced senior experts from Stiftung Mercator's network.
Thematic inputs, impulse lectures and competence trainings are part of the program year as well as group and individual reflection sessions, collegial counseling and discussion formats with professionally experienced experts.

Some of the question we address during the yearlong program are:

  • What factors make it possible and easier for women to take on leadership positions? What conditions prevail in my socio-political, professional and personal environment?

  • Which special leadership qualities can women specifically use on their way to more responsibility? How can they use these qualities even better?

  • How do I find my own leadership style? How do I deal with conflicts and challenges? How do I strengthen my resilience?

  • What is the best way to plan individual career and life goals and implement them successfully? What about the compatibility of family/private life and career? How do I achieve a healthy work-life balance?

Network

In addition, the participants of all program years organize joint activities outside the seminar series and thus shape the active and personal exchange of all "Mercatoras" withiin the network. You can be active, for example, as a speaker, as an input provider, in a working group, within a peer-to-peer counseling group or with new ideas and inspirations for formats and activities of the network.


Motivation, initiative and openness to share both challenges and progress with others in the network and to empower each other make Mercatora a special resource for our alumnae.


Application
We are looking for the next cohort of "Mercatoras"! Alumnae can now apply for the 2021/22 edition of the program. It will be offered for the first time in English and in a digital format. Learn more about how to apply here (Login required).

The program explicitly targets alumnae of Stiftung Mercator with professional work and initial management experience. The program period comprises one program year with three program modules. In each program year, we can invite 15 to 18 alumnae to participate.

We run our program in cooperation with EAF Berlin, the European Academy for Women in Politics and Business. EAF is a non-profit organisation that advises on the topics of diversity and equal opportunities, career and leadership, compatibility and resilience, and politics and participation.