Women and Leadership Initiative

Mentorship Program

Mentorship Forward

The Women and Leadership Initiative Mentorship Program provides USF MBA and MAcc students professional development opportunities and provides students with a toolkit to work toward equity for women, and specifically women of color, in business.  

This year, we are focused on to developing mentees’ core competencies in anti-racism in the workplace and the emotional intelligence needed for anti-racist work. 

We are seeking mentors who are: 

  • Accomplished leaders - business, community, and USF community, 
  • Primarily women
  • Either people of color or people who are open to serving as an ally or accomplice and to continued learning. 

This year, we are looking for mentees who are: 

  • MBA and MAcc Students
  • Primarily women
  • Primarily people of color

2020-2021 Program Details

The Mentorship Program launches on February 1, 2021. Throughout February, we will be seeking mentees and mentors. Matching will occur by mid-March. 

Mentors and mentees are encouraged to have their first meeting in March virtually. 

Mentees are expected to attend all three events of the Thought Leadership program. 

We will hold two professional development events for mentees in March and May. The first seminar will focus on developing your emotional intelligence within the context of anti-racist work. The second event will be a workshop to help mentees unpack and evaluate what they have learned through the four previous events.  

Mentors will be invited and their attendance would be appreciated at any of these events, but participation is optional. 

Meeting Frequency and Type 

Mentees and mentors will meet at least four times, approximately quarterly, throughout 2021 and into 2022. While additional meetings are permitted, we respect your time. Meetings will likely be virtual, through an online platform, or on the phone. 

Sample Meeting Schedule 

These topics are only suggestions; we recommend you work with your mentee to set an agenda for each meeting. 

  • Meeting 1 – Get to know each other, review StrengthsFinder assessment for mentee, and set goals and expectations for the program duration. Discuss personal branding and image improvements as well as the creation of a personal vision and mission statement. 
  • Meeting 2 – Discuss the mentor’s leadership experience and go on a tour of his or her company. Discuss how the mentor excelled at pivoting and how the mentee could adapt in his or her career. Discuss opportunities regarding anti-racist work at the business. 
  • Meeting 3 – Discuss a current opportunity or challenge relating to equity for women of color in business and how mentee could negotiate it to move forward in her or his career path. Introduce mentee to two contacts who would provide professional growth opportunities and discuss how to leverage these introductions for career success. 
  • Meeting 4 – Final discussion of personal branding and using an opportunity or challenge to drive professional growth. Introduce mentee to two additional contacts who would provide professional growth opportunities and discuss how to leverage these introductions for career success. 
  • After the four meetings, you are encouraged to continue the mentoring relationship, if mutually desired. 

    Continual Improvement 

    To ensure the program is operating well and meeting our goals, we will be assessing its impacts through pre- and post-surveys and a mid-program quick phone call to check-in. We seek to understand whether the anti-racist focus was effective and helpful and to understand how it might be improved. Throughout the program, please contact Lisa Yacso at 727-873-4749 or lisay@usf.edu anytime you have a question or concern. 


Lisa Yacso