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Bentley Motors has announced the launch of the third edition of its Extraordinary Women mentorship programme. Designed to encourage and develop the next generation of young female leaders, this year the initiative will involve students, universities and inspirational female Pioneers from the United Kingdom and Qatar.


The Extraordinary Women mentorship programme is organised in collaboration with the University of Bath, Loughborough, Warwick and Manchester Metropolitan in the UK and the University of Doha for Science in Technology in Qatar.


The programme focuses specifically on female students in the fields of engineering, design, technology, and business, and is a component of Bentley’s wider commitment to diversity and inclusion, which falls under its Beyond100 strategy. It was created and crafted to encourage women to explore a variety of career paths in the STEM and automotive sectors.


Eight students from the UK and Qatar will be selected to embark on the programme, which will involve one-on-one mentorship by specially selected, high-achieving women – the inspirational Pioneers – and will culminate in a week-long visit to Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, England, this June.


The significance of the programme lies in highlighting the range of opportunities available for women. Participating students in previous editions in the UK, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been able to engage with Pioneers such as Amanda Levete, a Stirling Prize-winning architect appointed CBE for her contributions to architecture, Saudi Arabia’s Mishaal Ashemimry, the first female aerospace engineer in the Gulf region, and Amna Al Hashemi, an Emirati thought leader and serial entrepreneur.


This year, Sara Davies MBE joins the cohort of Pioneering women and will mentor a student from the UK. The founder and owner of Crafter’s Companion, a craft supply company that employs more than 150 people worldwide, is an inspiration to many women all over the globe.  Sara is best known for her place on the BBC One show Dragons’ Den, as the show’s youngest ever female investor and will appear on BBC One on 15 March in Snow Going Back: Comic Relief vs. The Arctic, where she has taken part in an incredible trek in the Arctic Circle for Comic Relief.


She commented: “I love what Bentley is doing, celebrating the achievements of female talent; and most importantly supporting the growth of exceptional young females through their Extraordinary Woman initiative. I cannot wait to get started and meet the student I shall be personally mentoring”.


Karen Lange, Bentley’s Board Member for Human Resources, commented: “It is a source of pride and inspiration to everyone within Bentley to see the Extraordinary Women programme going from strength to strength, as it enters its third year and expands to a fourth country. Our aim for this extraordinary initiative has been to build a legacy for young women and support the success of the next generation of future leaders, and with past participants progressing to undertake placements with Bentley, we are already witnessing the positive impact it is having.”


Bentley has partnered with the University of Doha of Science & Technology in Qatar who are really excited to be partnering with such an initiative taking place in Qatar for the first time. The president of UDST Dr. Salem Al-Naemi, President of UDST said: "We are proud to be partnering with Bentley on this initiative. The empowerment of women is not just a necessity but a duty we owe to future generations. At University of Doha for Science and Technology we stand committed to fostering an environment where our students, regardless of gender, can excel in their chosen fields. We take immense pride in the achievements of our female students, who are inventors and pioneers and we are excited to anticipate the exceptional results of the Qatar edition of this internationally acclaimed campaign.


The extraordinary women programme is one of many initiatives from Bentley Motors to champion gender equality, empower women globally, and foster inclusion. As part of its Beyond100 strategy, Bentley aims to become the most diverse luxury car company with colleagues as individual as its cars.


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