Public Media Women in Leadership’s (PMWL) Mentoring & Engagement Program Launches Fourth Cohort—Mentors Wanted!


By: Christine Fitzgerald

The Public Media Women in Leadership (PMWL) Mentoring and Engagement Program recently launched its fourth cohort—and they’re looking for mentors! The application window closes at the end of October, and mentors of all backgrounds, including men, are encouraged to apply. Click Here to Apply on PMWL’s Website

It’s been said that the best way to learn is to teach; and as a mentor, you can expand networks, gain new knowledge and skills, and continue defining your own career path as you help your mentee with their own professional network and leadership skills.

Katie Briggs, Senior Product Designer, NPR, was both a mentee and a mentor in the program. She said, “I joined the PMWL Mentorship Program as a mentee, looking for ways to find balance between my professional roles, between my work life and growing a family, between my career ladder and my drive for growth. I was overjoyed that my mentor had real, lived experience with all of those topics and was able to coach me through hard conversations and crucial thought exercises to get me on the path to a better-balanced life.”

When Katie made the shift to mentor, she said, “I was nervous! I didn’t have any experience being a formal mentor, and I was worried I wouldn’t know what to do.” However, while in the program, she shared how eventually, “It became clear to me that my experiences, advice and perspective could be helpful for my mentee.

PMWL’s program helped Katie establish a baseline of trust as a mentor. “We weren’t strangers, we were two women in public media talking through the challenges we face. That made me feel at ease in both the mentee and mentor roles because I knew we were both starting on common ground.”

Public media veterans, Deanna Martin Mackey and Veronica Varela Reyes are the reason the mentorship program is possible. Deanna co-founded the Public Media Women in Leadership group in January 2015, and over the last three years, Veronica has been instrumental in the program’s growth and engagement with the PMWL audience, including putting on events like Brave Talk, which provides ongoing leadership training for women in the public media industry.

CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services) is a founding sponsor of PMWL’s Brave Talk and honored to support PMWL’s commitment to the professional and leadership development journeys of women in public media. In July, a few women in leadership on CARS’ public media team had the pleasure of joining the three-day virtual workshop, including Cari Nesje, Senior Director of Field Operations; Beth Carter, Support Manager Market Development; and Bianca Barlas, Sr. Account Manager. Cari says, “Brave Talk 2020 took a deep dive into race, gender, intersectional feminism, and resilience. These conversations were incredibly inspiring and have spurred us to start our own Learning and Leadership group internally.” Bianca also shared all about our experience in the CARS Newsroom.

If you’re looking to further your personal and professional relationships with others in the public media industry, sign up to become a mentor today

Public Media Women in Leadership (PMWL) announced the launch of the PMWL Mentoring and Engagement Program in the Fall of 2018. The purpose of PMWL is to establish a mentorship program to better prepare women with potential to become future CEOs/COOs in the system, create a community via Facebook and webinars/trainings to encourage conversation and sharing about issues related to women in leadership, and create awareness in the public media industry about the critical need to diversify station leadership. They can be found at

CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services) is a nationally recognized social enterprise nonprofit that helps thousands of nonprofits and more than 500 nonprofit media stations in North America, including KQED, WBUR, KUOW, WAMU, and KPBS. Since 2003, CARS has returned more than $300 million to our partners through turn-key vehicle donation programs. CARS also reinvests in its community by providing meals and transportation solutions to seniors each year through a program called On the Go. They can be found at