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Benefits of Mentoring

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is an over-arching term most often used to describe a professional relationship between two, or more, individuals where a mentor can provide mentees with support and guidance to assist them in their work and career progression.

  • The role of the mentor is one of support to the mentee or learner.
  • The mentee should be open to new ideas and eager to learn and develop.
  • The mentor should listen, and give advice and guidance when appropriate.
  • Mentoring focuses on developing capability, by working with the mentee’s goals to help them realise their potential.
  • The mentee is responsible for their learning and development and setting the direction and goals for the relationship.
  • The flow of learning is two-way in a mentoring relationship and the mentor often gains as much as the mentee.
  • A mentor is a professional friend.

Why mentoring?

A women only mentoring programme can help to support and motivate women just starting in their STEM careers as well as those already working in STEM occupations, and those considering a STEM career or wanting to return to a career in STEM. Women may find it easier to self-identify with a female mentor.

It may be that in some cases male mentors are better suited to being the mentor and they should not be ruled out. It is essential that the mentor has the skills required to meet the mentoring objectives and that they can develop a positive and supportive relationship with the mentee.

Mentoring can help women to focus on their career, make decisions on entry and progression, and to explore strategies for improving their work life balance. The relationship can prevent feelings of isolation and help to develop confidence and self-esteem.

Mentoring is a useful form of Continuing Professional Development.

An organisation can use mentoring to aid their career and succession planning, including encouraging promotion within their current staff base. This reduces recruitment costs and motivates a workforce by showing that internal promotion is part of the employer’s culture.

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