Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘STEM’

“The HeART of Mentoring” with Natacha Wilson – by Shivi Chandna

“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.

IMG_4629

Natacha Wilson

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.

IMG_4638.JPG

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.

 IMG_4632.JPG

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.

IMG_4608.JPG

Natacha Wilson

 

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)

Buy Now Button

Buy Now Button

Tips to boost your confidence.

We got together to work on top tips on being confident. First, we considered what situations we might particularly need a confidence boost in and choose the following ones to brainstorm tips for :

IMG_4653.JPG• Getting your opinion heard (for example in meetings)
• In a new role
• After a knock to your confidence, such as a failure, redundancy etc.
• For networking events
• Negotiating a pay rise or other working conditions such as flexi-time

1. Prepare- In every situation, bring prepared was seen as a real confidence. It helps to have thought about the content of what you are going to say, what arguments to use for your pay rise or other negotiations (including your researching your “market value”, considering the other person’s likely point of view), the interests and backgrounds of people you are meeting and possible answers to likely and hard questions in a job interview. For networking events people thought it was helpful to prepare an opening gambit as well as an exit strategy. Preparation for meetings can include sending out “homework” for others in advance.

IMG_4655.JPG
2. Celebrate successes- When you are feeling nervous or under confident, remember the successes you have had in the past. Maybe keep reminders (such as thank you cards or emails) to hand to remind yourself.
3. Be assertive- Assertive as a way of interacting with people is not the same as aggressive, it is the mindset that you are okay and the other person is okay and you both deserve respect and boundaries. You give respect and expect it in return. It involves listening, asking questions and clarifying and looking for areas of agreement and mutual wins.

IMG_4670.JPG
4. Feel the fear and do it anyway- it is natural to feel nervous, especially if you’re venturing out of your comfort zone (which is a good thing to be doing, but is when you are most likely to need a dose of confidence)
5. Get a mentor – Talking things through with someone who has been there may be the best thing for your confidence and it would be worth finding a mentor. For a general lift in confidence, become someone’s mentor! It will make you realize how far you have come.
6. Learn from your mistakes- Don’t beat yourself up about mistakes, analyse what you’d do differently next time. Don’t try to blame them on someone else and you will feel more confident in similar situations.

IMG_4671.JPG
7. Don’t take things personally/ keep perspective
8. Fake it till you make it- the important part really is the second half of the sentence- you will make it and you will feel confident in doing something that is now quite new, so put on a smile and act confident until you feel it. However, don’t bluster or over compensate.
9. Keep busy- Doing what you are good at will boost you. Maybe you can engineer small wins.
10. Do someone a favour- Or compliment or even just smile at someone, they won’t be the only ones benefiting!

Tips for specific situations included: if someone won’t stop talking, make a change to the situation, even if it is just getting up yourself.
To regain your confidence after a bad situation, remember how you bounced back before, what you did to get over any previous disappointments.

Thank you, Tennie for a most effective workshop!

Success: what lies behind the mask

Book now and share!

poster

Kate Atkin will be talking about the imposter syndrome the 26th of April.

Download the poster here. Learn more here

The Workshop will be held in the Reception Room at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

Wednesday 26th April. 8-10pm

Special Price! 

Members & non-members £10

Book Now!

Buy Now Button

Book now! Last places remaining.

Confidence: the ultimate career ingredient

Book now for the 4th WiSE UP workshop. Confidence: the ultimate career ingredient facilitated by Tennie Videler. Last places remaining!

poster

The Workshop will be held in the Woodlegh Room at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

Tuesday 28th March. 8-10pm

 Book now closed.

Homeward Bound to Antarctica: Dr Deborah Pardo – by Raheela Rehman

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.

czucaccweaabjzi

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.

IMG_4597.JPG

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.

IMG_4600.JPG

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.

DP-3

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.

Dr-Deborah-Pardo.jpg

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.

C28MOq2W8AA-OYG.jpg

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.

IMG_4596

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

%d bloggers like this: