Our founder, Sarah Golley, is on the Board of WICT UK & Ireland, a fantastic organisation empowering women in the media, entertainment and technology industries. She is responsible for the highly successful mentoring program. As it will be International Mentoring Day on Thursday 26 October, here she talks about how powerhouse mentoring relationships make a difference.
MENTORING MAKES A DIFFERENCE
I get great satisfaction from the mentoring program I run through WICT UK & Ireland with my colleague Lauren Staker. We are making a difference in people’s lives and enabling their career development by matching mentors with mentees. The number of mentoring pairs we are supporting has significantly increased this year, which is something we are both really proud of.
Mentoring is a unique opportunity that provides immense benefits for both the mentor and the mentee. Some may feel apprehensive about requesting a mentor, maybe because they don’t know their goal or how they want to develop. The mentors at WICT are very approachable. If you tell us upfront that you’re not sure what you want to focus on, then we can match you with someone skilled in helping you find your goals.
WHY MENTORING MIGHT BE THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR YOU
Mentoring is an excellent opportunity for the mentee to build a unique relationship with someone more experienced, be they inside or outside their existing organisation. As it is a one to one relationship, this type of learning and development is tailored to the mentee’s needs and pace. They will benefit from the mentor’s experience on their specified topic and are building their professional network at the same time. In addition to their development needs that are unique to them, the mentee will also benefit from increased self-confidence, increased self-awareness through self-reflection, exposure to new and different perspectives and learning from another’s experience. We often experience mentees benefitting from an increased chance of promotion too!
WHAT’S IN IT FOR THE MENTOR?
Mentoring isn’t all a one-way street though. While a mentor does give up their time to help someone else, they are not completely selfless. Some benefits for the mentor include:
- Leadership skill development
- Strengthening communication skills
- Mastering the art of delivering feedback
- Exposure to new and different perspectives
- Increased job satisfaction by “paying it forward”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
You can choose from a number of different mentoring schemes, or even just walk up to someone you admire and ask them politely if they would consider being your mentor. Here at WICT, once a member requests a mentor, we take the time to find out what level of experience the member has and what they are looking to achieve from their mentor pairing. We use our “mentor matching” process to ensure the needs of both are met.
At this point we ask the potential pairing to have a brief chemistry call before confirming they are a match. This is an opportunity for the pair to get to know each other, start to grow trust and build rapport, understand the goals that the mentee wants to achieve and how the mentor can help and support.
A mentor pairing is encouraged to agree on the timescales for their mentoring relationship upfront. We check in with the mentors and mentees on a regular basis and once the mentoring relationship has concluded, we often find that the mentor requests a new mentee.
WHY MENTORING IS A POWERHOUSE RELATIONSHIP
Mentoring is a powerhouse relationship. It is based on mutual trust, support and growth. Mentors provide guidance and advice to their mentees, helping them to develop their skills and knowledge. Mentees learn from the experiences of their mentors and gain valuable insights into their chosen field.
Mentoring is mutually beneficial. Mentors gain the satisfaction of helping someone else succeed and mentees gain the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their career goals.
If you are looking for a way to boost your career or to give back to your community, consider becoming a mentor or a mentee. It is an experience that can be life-changing for both parties.