A mentoring programme for women's empowerment

Last registered on February 14, 2024


Trial Information

General Information

A mentoring programme for women's empowerment
Initial registration date
February 12, 2024

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
February 14, 2024, 5:00 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


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Primary Investigator

University of Cagliari

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Naples Federico II
PI Affiliation
University of Naples Federico II
PI Affiliation
University of Naples Federico II

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Despite efforts to narrow the gender gap in the labor market, wage disparities between men and women persist, particularly in fields like STEM. These disparities can be attributed to differences in human capital accumulation and occupational segregation, but also to psychological factors. This project investigates whether mentoring programs targeted at female students can mitigate these gender disparities by addressing these psychological factors. We conduct a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) in Southern Italy, where applicants are randomly assigned to a mentoring program where students interact with a female mentor over a six-month period. We then track participants over time to assess the program's impact on their beliefs, expectations, confidence, academic achievements, and labor market outcomes.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Giannola, Michele et al. 2024. "A mentoring programme for women's empowerment." AEA RCT Registry. February 14. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.12943-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


The Young Women Empowerment Program (YEP) is a mentoring programme that targets female university students enrolled in the last two years of a STEM or Economics degree in the main universities of Southern Italy. Students participating in YEP, the mentees, are paired with more experienced professionals, the mentors. The mentors are women managers working in large Italian companies and come from different backgrounds (e.g., Economics, Engineering, Maths, etc.) mirroring the heterogeneity of degrees in which the mentees are enrolled. The objective of the programme is to provide participant students with the necessary tools to make informed academic and professional choices and facilitate the school-to-work transition. During the programme, the mentors and mentees meet monthly over a six-month period. To make the programme as flexible as possible, these meetings can take place either in person or remotely, at a time that is convenient for the dyad (or the group) mentor-mentee(s). The meetings are intentionally non-structured, allowing discussion of topics that are identified as relevant by mentors and mentees and permitting mentees to ask questions, share doubts, and learn from their mentor’s experiences.

Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes of interest are i) measures of academic achievement (grades, degree completion, attendance...); ii) aspirations and beliefs about labor market outcomes (perceived employment probability, expected wage...); iii) post-degree outcomes (employment status, job search activities, further studies...)
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We evaluate the effects of YEP using a randomized controlled trial (RCT) using individual-level randomization. We use an oversubscription mechanism and randomize applicants to a treatment and a control group. To minimize differences between groups, improve statistical power, and facilitate the matching with mentors with similar backgrounds, students are stratified by field of study.

We test two variants of YEP – and hence have two distinct treatment groups and a control group. The first group (T1) is an individual treatment. Students assigned to T1 meet their mentors individually in one-to-one meetings. Students in the second group (T2) are assigned to a group treatment, in which each mentor meets a group of up to three mentees. T2 was introduced to test one possible avenue to increase the scalability potential of the mentoring programme.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer-based randomization
Randomization Unit
Individual student
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
600, over two academic years (2023/2024 and 2024/2025)
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
T1: 150 students; T2: 150 students; Control: 300 students
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Naples Federico II - Ethical Committee for Research with Human Subjects in Non-Biomedical Fields
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number