Posts tagged ‘Lucy Cavendish college’
“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.”
The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring.
On 7th March, women from different walks of life sat around to discuss how to get the best from mentoring as a mentor and a mentee. Natacha Wilson who has an impressive career and acts as a mentor with the Foundation for Women Entrepreneurs and the Cherie Blair foundation for Women led the very enlightening workshop for the evening. Participants discussed a variety of topics such as what successful mentoring looks like, the reasons mentoring may not last and how and when to find mentorship.
Who should a mentee seek?
A mentee should firstly recognize that they could get mentoring when they need and not wait to face adversity before seeking help.
The workshop participants discussed what qualities and skill set look for in a mentor. First of all, they agreed that careers and similarity of background are quite important. Before starting the process, ensure that there is a rapport and trust with a potential mentor, who should have a behavioral awareness to be able to understand how other people may react to a situation. It is equally important for them to have a sense of humor and great communication skills. Ideally, the mentor should be committed to learning more about mentoring and help others manage self-care.
Who should a mentor seek?
A mentee who has clarity of go
als of what they would like out of their mentoring experience. An important tip from experienced mentors was to manage maximum two mentees, engage no longer than six months and get feedback halfway through the process.
What preparation can be done for mentoring?
A mentee should prepare an agenda for every meeting and have SMART goals to have a definition of success in mentorship. They should decide which area of their life they would like to discuss and set ground rules of commitment. In a meeting, the conversation should be led by the mentee with clarity on what they would like out of the mentoring experience. A mentor, on the other hand, could ask mentees to prioritize tasks vs timelines, identify the blockers, agree how to give feedback in a particular format and decide on boundaries. An employee could negotiate with an employer to find time for mentorship.
What could happen during the mentoring process?
It is important to recognize the moments where mentors find themselves getting too attached to a mentee’s progress, feeling like it is your responsibility to help achieve the goal of a mentee and do a lot more than required. It is vital to managing that closure when the mentorship finishes.
Towards the end of the workshop, a 5-minute speed mentoring session was held giving participants a glimpse of what the experience could be like. The workshop ended on a very positive note, listing the many benefits of mentoring. Mentors can help spot opportunities, build confidence, give impartial feedback and show broader perspectives. Mentees benefit from being listened to without interruption, can get help assessing risks and inspiration and motivation in their life. Most importantly you recognize how your life experiences can help anyone in a huge way, so get out there and get mentoring!
Do you want to become a CamAWiSE member?
Becoming a member of CamAWiSE helps us organize more events like this one and help women on STEM reach their full potential.
|Full Member (£30 a year)||Student (£5 a year)|
Book now and share!
Kate Atkin will be talking about the imposter syndrome the 26th of April.
The Workshop will be held in the Reception Room at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.
Wednesday 26th April. 8-10pm
Booking is now closed
Setting sail from Argentina, 76 women from 16 countries capped off 2016 with a 20-day voyage to Antarctica. This made the BBC news front page story; “Largest all-women expedition heads to Antarctica”. Homeward Bound, an Australian programme, is the brainchild of Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas and Ms Fabian Dattner. It aims to place women, with a science background, firmly on the global map to influence “policy and decision making as it shapes our planet”. The Homeward Bound voyage in parallel with lectures and leadership workshops, took its very first women to observe the effect of climate change close up.
I thought I knew what Dr Deborah Pardo was about to present at Lucy Cavendish College. I expected a presentation about; her participation in Homeward Bound, her climate observations at Antarctica, how her research slotted into the programme’s objectives and to inspire the audience to push their boundaries. Yes, Deborah hit all four, but her unexpected “contagious optimism” set the room alight. She took our hands, pulled us into her world and we took our personal journey through her experience.
Deborah’s professional roles took her from France (her home) to Sweden and most recently to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in Cambridge, UK. Her research focus at BAS was on the demography and understanding the drop in the populations of three Albatross species (Wandering, Grey-headed, and Black-browed). She monitored the birds by tagging them with tracking devices and processed the extracted data using extensive computer modelling. During this time Deborah trained two PhD students and she also took maternity leave to have her son. A guilt-ridden 10 months followed as she was unable to provide full focus on both her research and family life. As a driven scientist she found it difficult being away from her work, but with no family support in the UK, the time away led to personal reflection on her work-life balance.
She questioned the reach of her research papers. In the bigger picture, what impact would they have globally to help the Albatross species? The next step came naturally; intrinsic goals would lead to satisfaction and play as a catalyst for happiness. These goals included improving the environment and reducing consumption. The common denominator to create this global wave required half the population to engage, and that was to empower women to take a lead.
In developing countries, women are the carers for their families, their children and the old. They hold a “quiet knowledge”, which glues the family together. Along with this central role, at times of crisis women are also the most affected – Deborah cited the Bangladesh floods of 1991, where 90% of those killed were women.
But it was also this “quiet knowledge” that women used in Western Africa, where Water Hyacinth had polluted the waterways. This removed the oxygen from the water, suffocating the fish and impeding the movement of boats. This halted trade and fishing for the local fishermen. The women removed the weed, using them to make ropes that they entrepreneurially traded, whilst freeing the waterways. Deborah explained that women work close to the ground and they are more aware and proactive to combating climate change.
She also pointed out the stark figures of women globally in positions of leadership:
- Research | 28%
- Politics | 27%
- Business | 20%
- Medical doctors| 16%
Leadership takes many forms and not just being the CEO. The knowledge within the person is the formative contributor to leadership and success. As a scientist, Dr Deborah Pardo followed her professional path, with rigorous evidence-based decision-making. As a female scientist, Dr Pardo believes that leadership decisions are taken collectively as a team, which is a key leadership capability. The economic case shows that when senior leadership is composed of greater diversity, the skills that women bring to the table strengthen the organisational performance.
Prior to the journey, a year-long preparation involving; online training and psychological tests measuring the participants’ lifestyle were taken. She was also required to raise $16k (US dollars). Deborah rose to the challenge. One of the sponsors was the parent of a school child. Deborah was required to provide an educational video for the school in return for the sponsorship. She will also work with the school for three months.
Why Antarctica? Antarctica is an iconic symbol of the human impact on the world and grabs the attention of the media. The participants travelled by ship overnight to different locations, in the mornings after breakfast they went on land and returned for training in the afternoon.
One of the lessons learnt from her Homeward Bound journey, was to question; “What can I really achieve?” Within a network, Deborah is in a stronger position to instigate, maintain and follow through for change. She will now act as a mentor to the next set of bright women who take up the challenge, including Catherine Sorbara, new Chair of CamAWISE.
By Raheela Rehman