The WIB Mentoring Scheme is well underway and we took a moment to check in with our Mentors to see how they were doing on their journey. We conducted meetings for our Mentor’s where we focused on five main questions. Here are some of our findings:
- What is going well for you in regard to the WIB Mentor Scheme?
We received a lot of positive feedback from our Mentors which directly reinforced our belief that mentoring is something that benefits all people involved. We at Women in BIM ask our Mentors to take on the responsibility, but we expected that they would gain a lot from the relationships they built with their Mentees and we are over the moon to see that this is happening.
Additionally, we were told about multiple practical aspects of work that are going in a very positive direction for our mentoring couples. Technical strategies discussed are being implemented, there has been confident talk about closing the circle and the use of digital assets, and overall we heard about many strongly engaged Mentees.
2. What are the challenges that you have been facing?
This period of time is tremendously challenging and we have had both Mentors and Mentees facing furlough and redundancies for themselves, for their partners and family members or within their organizations as a whole. In any situation, it is challenging to provide support in times like these, but there is no doubt that simply having the prospect of a chat with another more experienced professional is extremely helpful. .
For some Mentors, regular pre-agreed meetings work better for them. This discussion lead us to a conversation about setting boundaries, which seem to be a shared personal issue for most Mentors and it allowed the opportunity to share experiences and for the Mentors to mentor each other.
The Mentors thought that physical proximity was a great addition to their match and felt the relationship would have been even better if live meetings were possible, if not for COVID.
Some of our Mentors with extensive professional experience shared they felt concerned they might not be up to the task at the start. However, it was agreed that when we allow the relationship to develop and continue to be open, and listen and level with the Mentee, both parties will always benefit from the session.
3. What are the Mentee’s goals for the end of this process?
Goal setting as such is not an easy thing, and while we were happy to hear that some mentees were determined and clear with what they wanted from the get-go, there were cases where that was a murky topic. Most of the mentees were aiming towards getting new positions or feeling more secure in their current ones.
4. What are the Mentor’s goals for the end of this process?
Most of the Mentors shared a desire to make the industry better for women and it is always great to get an opportunity to affirm this. This Scheme has allowed our Mentors to take this opportunity to hone their own leadership and mentoring skills and to continue their contribution as such beyond the end of this program, which is more than a joy to hear.
5. What will you do differently as a Mentor as a result of this conversation?
We noticed there was an overwhelming consensus on setting a more rigid structure to the process for both Mentor & Mentee. Mentors conveyed that addressing two different sides of the mentoring relationship is crucial for future mentoring. The first side is more to do with the content of the conversation. Showing more vulnerability and personality as a Mentor is also a great tool to bring about power and balance in the conversation and allow for the Mentee to do the same. The second has more to do with the practical side of things and what seems to be the wider desire to have a consistent set of meetings, to ensure that the process is effective.