We were reminded this month of how powerful mentoring can be in providing positive role models in the workplace.
We were delighted to run a taster session on Mentoring for the Race Equality Network at Royal Greenwich Council in October and it reinforced to me how important it is for people to be able to access advice and guidance from people who have faced similar challenges and been on a similar journey – especially where those role models are absent from the immediate work environment. If you are one of the few women in a male-dominated environment trying to break through that glass ceiling or a black manager trying to break down invisible barriers in a mainly white workforce, mentoring can be an invaluable source of insight, advice and support.
Most local authorities have comprehensive equality and diversity training, but what mentoring does is to provide practical “real world” support by facilitating discussions between people facing the issues and challenges and people who have already had to deal with them.
The taster session was an introduction to a unique mentoring scheme called Mymentor www.mymentor.me.uk – unique in that it is cross borough and therefore able to match mentees with managers from a pool of 18 participating organisations...a fantastic source of possible role models. We have been involved in supporting the scheme with training since it was launched several years ago and it has been hugely rewarding to see it grow from 5 founding boroughs to the 18 organisations it is now.
Informal mentoring happens in many organisations, but what MyMentor shows is that a more structured scheme could encourage mentors with a wide range of backgrounds and experience. And the more great role models you have, the more inspiration you are providing.
For advice on how to set up a mentoring scheme and train participating mentors or for further information on Mymentor call us on 01903 732 782 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I joined Stella and Tracy at Focal Point in 2003 and have seen both the Company and my role evolve during this time. I now work closely with the management team to achieve and improve business efficiently. To re-energise myself after a day in the office, I like to go to Zumba classes in the evening!