Week 5: Women and SET – Finding support – mentoring

In an effort to explain what mentoring is, we are directed to a number of websites:

UK Resource Centre for Women in SET
The Mentoring and Befriending Foundation
South Yorkshire Female Entrepreneurs’ Network and Mentoring Programme
Clutterbuck Associates

Definitions of mentoring:

“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.”

Eric Parsloe of The Oxford School of Coaching and Mentoring

“a practical way of helping you get to where you want to go. To explore issues to come to a different understanding and different thinking.”

Bob Garvey of Sheffield Hallam University

  • showing people the ropes – and helping them to climb them
  • passing on knowledge and/or skills, formally or informally
  • looking after people
  • acting as a sounding board
  • helping people put learning into practice
  • being a role model
  • being a guide
  • being a champion
  • talking to people about their careers
  • coaching
  • a guide not a guru.

Julie Hay in her book Transformational Mentoring (Hay. J., 1999, Transformational Mentoring: creating developmental alliances for changing organisational cultures. Sherwood Publishing, Watford)

A mentor is a listener, adviser and guide; a person with a flexible approach, prepared to deal with the opportunities of progress and change. They must be prepared to support, constructively challenge and advise their ‘mentee’ on their studies and their longer-term objectives.

A mentor is someone who is a few steps further down the path you want to travel.
And whose background is close enough to be able to say:
‘I was where you are now …
You can be where I am now.’

Andy Forbes, Oldham College

The UKRC operates a RETURN mentoring scheme: at the moment I would feel a bit of a fraud for making use of it, as I’m coming to the conclusion that my life choices and working in science are incompatible.


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