Blog – The CamAWiSE Mentoring Programme: An Interview with Mentor Becky Hall
At CamAWiSE we believe that mentoring brings many benefits to personal and professional development. Mentoring allows the development of new skills, learning about other roles or career paths and opportunities for expanding our networks.
In 2020, CamAWiSE launched a pilot Mentoring programme to support the professional development of women in STEMM and to facilitate connections among professionals in the local community. The programme included twelve pairs of mentor and mentees, who developed relationships and supported each other through a rather challenging year.
We wanted to learn a bit more about the participants’ experience and so we asked one of our mentors, Becky Hall about her perspective participating in the programme. Becky is Internal Communications Manager at the semiconductor and software design company Arm, and was Chair of CIPR East Anglia from 2018 until the end of 2020.
Here is what Becky told us!
Why did you choose to participate in CamAWiSE’s Mentoring programme?
I have mentors myself and know how valuable it is talking to someone about your goals or a challenge you’re trying to overcome. Sometimes just saying something out loud gives things momentum and helps you commit to making progress for yourself.
What were the highlights of the programme for you?
It was so rewarding when my mentee told me that a question I asked, or a short exercise I suggested, helped them reframe things and take some steps towards what they were trying to achieve. These moments were the highlights for me!
2020 was a challenging year in many ways, did the circumstances impact how you interacted with your mentee? How did you address any challenges?
In terms of the logistics, our first two meetings were in person and our catch ups after that were on video calls. We both made sure we were in a quiet area and wouldn’t be interrupted – which helped us have a good discussion. Not always easy when working from home!
In terms of general circumstances, after April we were both even more respectful of each other’s time because things at work and home were more intense and stressful, as they have been for everyone this year. It can be harder to make time for doing anything ‘extra’ for yourself or others – with that in mind I’m even more pleased with how our mentor/mentee partnership worked this year.
Were there any unexpected benefits or developments from the mentoring relationship? What were those?
I wasn’t expecting all of the benefits I got from being a mentor. I learnt a lot! About my mentee’s industry, how other people approach tackling challenges and I also developed my listening skills. In my job I do a lot of talking and finding solutions to problems. This was a wonderful opportunity to practice really listening and ask open questions, to help my mentee find their own solutions.
What would you advise to someone who is considering whether to participate in a mentoring programme?
Think about what your goals are, what you’re seeking from a mentoring programme. If you are clear about that, don’t hesitate because it can be such an enriching and helpful experience for both the mentee and mentor.
We are very grateful to Becky and all mentors who participated in the programme last year for their time and contribution.
Curious about mentoring or ready to take the step? The CamAWiSE Mentoring programme will be running again in 2021, we will open for applications soon for a start in early spring, all the relevant information will be posted on our website. Stay tuned for updates about the launch of applications, and if you have any queries about the programme, please do contact us at info firstname.lastname@example.org.