PWI Mentoring Program Launch

14 Aug 2011 22:29 | admin newsletter (Administrator)

PWI Mentoring Program Launch – Content, eligibility criteria and rules

Table of Contents

1.    The PWI Mentoring Program Concept
1.1      What is PWI Mentoring?
1.2      Why is Mentoring Important?
1.3      What does PWI Mentoring offer? Features and values of PWI Mentoring
                Characteristics of PWI Mentors
1.4      Program Benefits
1.5      Subjects covered by the PWI Mentoring Program
1.6      Meeting frequency and length of relationship
1.7      Conditions for Success
2.    PWI Mentoring Program Process and Calendar
2.1      What we offer
2.2      The Calendar
3.    Appendix
3.1      Mentoring vs. Coaching – PWI’s view
3.2      EPWN Mentoring Expertise

1.    The PWI Mentoring Program Concept

1.1     What is PWI Mentoring?

Mentoring is a relationship that is created to share knowledge and experience for learning in a purposeful way.
Mentoring is a voluntary, ‘not for profit’ relationship, a developmental partnership between two individuals who each take a defined role: The Mentor is a person with relevant knowledge, skills and experience, while the Mentee is a person who wants to learn from the mentor for her personal and professional development.

To share knowledge and experience refers to the fact that age and seniority are no longer the decisive factors for choosing a mentor with the experience required to face today’s challenges. The traditional form of mentoring, characterized by a “wise elder mentoring the protégé(e)”, has given way to new, more egalitarian forms of mentoring.
Mentoring is a powerful tool for learning and growth for both parties. For learning in a purposeful way is where the key strength of the mentoring process lies. The relationship is based on learning – and effective learning needs a clear purpose to prevent mentoring from becoming just another opportunity to talk, therefore each mentee must clearly specify her objectives upfront. The mentoring goals, and the processes to achieve these, are jointly defined by both mentor and mentee.

1.2     Why is Mentoring Important?

Mentoring is a powerful tool in today’s business world. It helps mentees with daily business life issues as well as with career orientations and decisions. A mentoring relationship can provide structure for the development of individual skills and leadership abilities. It provides mentors with unique opportunities to share experience, transmit lessons learned and learn from the younger generation.
Mentoring plays a critical role in the progression of women professionals in all sectors. Research strongly suggests that working with a mentor in the world of business can make a significant difference to the professional advancement of a mentee. Having a role model and a trusted advisor  is not only inspiring, but can build confidence and lead to seeing new ways of achieving goals. Mentoring offers women the professional role models they need to ignite their professional success.
Lack of mentoring, exclusion from networks, and the absence of women role models are continually cited as the key barriers to career advancement for women.

1.3     What does PWI Mentoring offer? Features and values of PWI Mentoring

It is widely recommended that women develop a panel of mentors – both women and men – with diverse backgrounds, skills and connections, in order to receive the different types of guidance and support they may need.

In the PWI Mentoring Program mentors will play some of the roles described below. The mentor:
•    Is supportive and acts as a sounding board to help her mentee successfully move forward professionally.
•    Offers suggestions based on her own professional experience.
•    Candidly shares issues related to gender in the workplace.
•    Helps the mentee strategize to achieve career goals and weigh the pros and cons of career choices.
•    Assists with strategies for time management essential to balancing work and personal life.
•    Helps the mentee clarify her performance objectives and areas she would like to develop.
•    Offers the mentee candid feedback and provides specific recommendations on areas in which the mentee would like to improve.
•    Leads by example.
•    Demonstrates knowledge and insight into applicable informal political processes.
•    Exhibits components of an effective leadership style.
•    Informs her mentee about any appropriate professional or educational opportunities she may be aware of.
•    Has professional integrity will respect the confidentiality of the mentoring relationship.

Characteristics of PWI Mentors
The PWI Mentoring Team is made up of volunteers who design and run the mentoring program to provide guidance and training, share best practices and match mentees to mentors.

Mentors will be drawn from PWI Brussels Members and from EPWN city networks, but can additionally be drawn from outside of this network. As this program is to benefit the PWI membership we will also look wider to identify mentors with specific competences, skills and levels of experience who share the values of PWI and who are interested in passing on their skills and encouragement to our members. 
This may open up the PWI mentoring program to male mentors, allowing issues such as difficulties with male colleagues or some technical areas of work which are still predominantly male to be addressed.

The PWI Mentoring Team will endeavor that Mentors involved in the program excel in:

•    Relevant experience and/or knowledge - General, technical, and/or skill-related experience and/or knowledge likely to be useful to aspiring mentees.
•    Communication skills – Skilled in key communication areas, such as active listening, providing constructive feedback, and demonstrating empathy.
•    Willingness and availability to contribute to the success of others - PWI mentors want to help women in their professional advancement, and commit to the availability requirements of the program, knowing that they in turn will surely derive worthwhile benefits in the process.

1.4     Program Benefits

 For mentors •    Contribute to the success of another professional by sharing their own resources and wisdom.
•    Gain access to new perspectives.
•    Enhance management and leadership skills.
•    Gain respect and recognition as a professional who has the ability to encourage and develop others.
 For mentees •    Improve your professional skills and knowledge.
•    Receive guidance on making career choices and on making the best strategies to achieve your objectives.
•    Benefit from advice on unwritten rules and insight into the informal politics of organizations.
•    Increased self-confidence and ability to reach goals.
•    Receive candid feedback and recommendations on specific behaviors to improve.
 For PWI •    Distinguish PWI from other professional women’s networks.
•    Attract press and corporate & strategic partners.
For corporate and strategic Partners
•    Increased employee engagement by providing continuous personal and professional development opportunities in and beyond their own organisation with one of the scientifically proven, most effective tools: mentoring.
•    Improved performance, decision making capabilities and knowledge management by sharing experiences from their own and different industries & understanding cultural diversity.
•    Creation of professional networks.


1.5     Subjects covered by the PWI Mentoring Program

Mentoring may address several areas:
•    Specific career development plans,
•    Business projects or
•    General conditions in the mentee’s profession which can include: career change, setting up a company, marketing your business/yourself, project management, going back to work after absence, public speaking, leadership, networking skills, cross-cultural communication and work-life balance.

1.6     Meeting frequency and length of relationship
a)    PWI mentoring relationships are sustained over a period of time set by the mentoring pair, which is typically 6 months.
b)    Depending on the preferences of mentor and mentee, they meet at regular intervals (e.g. once a month) in person, over the phone, through Skype, ooVoo, Messenger or e-mail.
c)    The program ends when the goals are achieved or after the six months.  Exceptionally, the relationship may break down in some way and then mentoring will cease.

1.7     Conditions for Success

The success of mentoring depends directly on the engagement of both parties and the responsibility of both for their own progress, and should be translated into concrete actions. An effective mentoring relationship is measured by the achievement of the initial goals and the satisfaction of the mentee and mentor with the mentoring relationship.

The following qualities however have been cited by mentoring pairs as crucial to a successful relationship:
•    Mutual trust and confidentiality.
•    A supportive attitude.
•    Acceptance and appreciation of difference.
•    Open-mindedness and a willingness to learn in new ways.
•    Respect for one another’s contributions and learning styles.
•    The courage to be open, honest and challenging

2.    PWI Mentoring Program Process and Calendar

PWI Brussels offers a mentoring program to promote the professional progress of women through each one of their career phases.
The PWI Mentoring Program is open for all PWI members to participate in as mentees. 

2.1     What we offer
•    Opportunity for PWI members to serve as a Mentor and/ or Mentee.
•    Experienced mentors from prominent organizations drawn from both within the PWI network and outside.
•    Mentoring Program launch event.
•    Matching of Mentors and Mentees on an individual basis.
•    Training workshop for Mentors about the mentoring program rules established by the PWI Mentoring Team.
•    Program monitoring, including individual support, guidance for mentoring pairs, and surveys. 

2.2     The Calendar

The PWI Mentoring Program includes the following process milestones:
Information Sessions - These sessions give basic information about mentoring in the PWI Mentoring Program to those who are considering joining the program as a mentor, mentee or volunteer in the Mentoring Team. They can also be an opportunity for potential mentors and mentees to meet.  MENTORS will introduce themselves during these two meetings.  PWI will organize an ongoing program with minimum two main start dates each year.  This may be increased to three sessions per year if the waiting list is too long.
a)    For the commencement of the program in the autumn of 2011 there will be two introductory sessions to explain the program and for potential mentors and mentees to meet.

2011 - 2012 program (1st Wave *)

 Call for Mentors  1st week September
 Introductory session (1)  September 24
 Introductory session (2)  October 6
 Matching  October

 Program start  November 1
 Program Evaluation  April 1

*A 2nd wave of the mentoring program is planned in spring 2012

b)    Mentor and Mentee Matching - Mentors and mentees are matched by the PWI Mentoring Team on the basis of short Mentor and Mentee Profiles describing their motivation, expectations, expertise, and practical constraints (e.g. location or preferred language). The Mentor Application form is attached.
c)    Program Supervision - The mentoring process is supervised by the PWI Mentoring Team in order to ensure adherence to the rules, transparency and support.
d)    A Follow-Up Program - The PWI Mentoring Team gathers feedback and lessons from members’ experiences of mentoring. The second wave of the PWI Mentoring Program will be reviewed and improved in response to analysis of feedback from the first wave of mentoring.

3.    Appendix

3.1    Mentoring vs. Coaching – PWI’s view

Mentoring is about bringing out the very best in people by listening, asking questions and providing feedback. It is a developmental relationship. Mentoring and coaching differ in that a coach needs to be an expert in the areas and skills required to foster her client’s development, while a mentor has specific knowledge or a particular experience the mentee is looking for.
The mentor and coach have different roles in the learning process. A coach is responsible for the challenge of stimulating and guiding the coachee to reach a higher level of her potential.
A mentor, as role model, shares relevant experiences, and leaves it to the mentee to apply the knowledge in a way that best suits her purpose.

 3.2     EPWN Mentoring Expertise

The Mentoring programs across EPWN are very successful. Here are some details:
•    More than a quarter of EPWN members (>850) are actively involved in mentoring programs across Europe.
•    9 city networks had a local Mentoring Program in 2010 (Paris, Madrid, Milan, Nice, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London)
•    2 new Mentoring Programs in Milan and EuropeanPWN London
•    Planned launches of local Mentoring Programs in 2011 in Oslo, Barcelona, Marseille, Lisbon, Frankfurt & Brussels

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