espnW and U.S. State Department awarded Signature Spirit Accolade for Global Sports Mentorship Program

In 2012, espnW and the U.S. Department of State teamed to present the Global Sports Mentorship Program — an initiative created to sustain sports opportunities for under-served women and girls worldwide. It pairs women from around the world, ages 25-45 and identified as emerging leaders, with American executives in a sports-related field.

The result was a successful year and the mentorship program has been renewed. In addition, espnW and the State Department were recently recognized by Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) as part of the 2013 Signature Spirit Accolades. The Accolades, which “honor exceptional operators, programmers, and a civic entity that champion community and public service programs in support of women’s initiatives,” recognized espnW and the State Department as the “Signature Spirit” for their collaborative work on the mentorship program.

“We are incredibly proud to have built this program with the U.S. Department of State,” said Laura Gentile, vice president, espnW. “The Global Sports Mentoring Program is stimulating the growth and development of women in sports throughout the world. The 17 women who believed in the program and came here to the United States to participate in it demonstrated true courage. They share our vision for the power of mentorship and women learning from each other.”

In addition to Gentile, ESPN Executive Vice President and CFO, Christine Driessen, and Ann Stock, assistant secretary of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, were present when accepting the award Monday in front of industry colleagues as part of the 2013 Cable Show in Washington, D.C.

“The State Department is honored to be recognized, with our partner espnW, for the Global Sports Mentorship program and the work we do to empower women and girls,” said Stock. “This program increases the number of women and girls that participate in sports worldwide. We know that women and girls who participate in sports are more likely to achieve in life. And, when they fully participate in society, they help create strong, stable and inclusive communities.”