MentorSET

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MentorSET is a mentoring scheme run by WES for women in STEM (Science, Technology, Image removed.Engineering and Mathematics). Unlike many mentoring schemes, MentorSET offers cross-sector independent mentors from around the UK and is open to both men and women.

Use our specialist software to search for a mentor who has the experience and skills to enable you to reach your milestones.  Keep track of goals, schedule meetings and communicate with each other over your twelve month partnership.

There is an additional fee for WES Members and non-Members to join MentorSET.  There is no charge to join as a mentor.

Fee for Members: £48
Fee for Non-Members: £120

Why Mentoring?

  • The mentee feels supported and has a mechanism for working through any problems that exist as a result of being in a minority
  • Mentoring includes training, support, encouragement, advice and guidance from people who have both 'done it before' and are usually independent of the mentee’s current organisation
  • Both the mentees and mentors gain confidence and leadership skills
  • Mentees report the benefits of a different perspective
  • Mentees are more likely to plan and apply for promotions
  • Mentors and mentees can gain insights into best business practices in other companies
  • The process allows mentors and mentees to make useful networking connections, and have access to role models

MentorSET is a cross-sector mentoring scheme, enabling you to connect with a mentoring partner outside of your place of work.  We offer networking opportunities in our forums enabling mentors to connect with other mentors, and individuals the opportunity to connect with others who share common goal or challenge.

MentorSET is open to both men and women, but in particular prides itself on the support it provides to women working in STEM and men and women returning after a career break.

Discover the perfect resource for your career growth here.

Mentoring allows you to focus on how you can forward your career and overcome work related issues. A mentor can provide guidance, support and space for you to think. Women in STEM face many issues and you may need a mentor with particular expertise or experience rather than one who has followed exactly the same career path. MentorSET can help.

A MentorSET mentor can help you with:

  • Career planning and progression
  • Links to reduce isolation in a male-dominated professional environment
  • Information about returning after a career break and advice about obtaining a work/life balance
  • Networking
  • Support if you are coping with health problems or disabilities alongside a professional career
  • Development of new skills such as leadership or public speaking

Mentoring partnerships usually last one or two years, but if you are looking for a quick boost or help with learning a specific skill. MentorSET can help there too.

We encourage women who are mid-career to apply to be both a mentor and a mentee. You do not need to be at the top of your profession to be a MentorSET mentor and you will gain more by being both a mentor and a mentee.

  • How long will the mentors be available? We ask our mentors to make commitments of twelve months in order to ensure that the mentee is able to fully benefit from the relationship. If a mentor must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background.
  • What should I do if my mentoring relationship isn't going well?​ We encourage letting your mentor know about the situation and contacting a program administrator as soon as possible. We will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
  1. Take a proactive role in shaping the relationship.
  2. Understand what you want from the mentoring relationship and communicate your goals and aspirations to your mentor. Balance a personal and professional relationship with your mentor.
  3. Set aside time for the mentoring process and keep all scheduled appointments with your mentor.
  4. Put the time with your mentor to its best use. Come to your meetings with planned topics for discussion.
  5. Respond in a timely manner to your mentor's feedback. Respond to emails from your mentor within two days of receipt.
  6. Be open and honest with your mentor about your challenges and weaknesses. 
  7. If something concerning the mentor needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
  1. Ask for advice on everything. Have a purpose in each request.
  2. Blame the mentor if his or her advice doesn't work out.
  3. Expect the mentor to know all the answers.
  4. Commit yourself to obligations you cannot keep.
  5. Cancel meetings/visits with your mentor at the last minute.

Share your expertise with those willing and eager to learn.

A mentor is a guide. A friend. A resource who paves the way to success, and derives satisfaction from helping others succeed. Your role as mentor is to inspire, encourage, and support your mentee, and to contribute to their professional and personal development. 

Mentoring provides development opportunities for mentors as well as great personal satisfaction. Being a mentor can improve your leadership skills and enable you to learn from alternative approaches and different ways of thinking. It can be challenging, inspiring and enlightening.

We welcome both male and female mentors. No prior mentoring experience is necessary and you don't have to be at the top of your profession to be a MentorSET mentor. Mentors should have a degree or equivalent and at least a couple of years working experience in the Science, Engineering or Technical sectors. We would also be delighted to hear from would-be mentors with leadership experience in the science/engineering/technology sector or with coaching backgrounds.

  • What am I expected to do? Mentors are expected to provide their mentee with about one hour of support and interaction per month. Most of this interaction will take place via email and other web-related tools (for example, instant messaging) or face-to-face, as appropriate. Mentors should work with their mentee to determine what kind of support will be most useful—specific feedback related to finding jobs, general career advice, information on higher studies, technical information, personal encouragement, and so on.
  • How long will the commitment be? We ask our mentors to make commitments of twelve months in order to ensure that the mentee is able to fully benefit from the relationship. If a mentor must leave the relationship early, we request at least one month's notice in order to search for a replacement mentor with similar background.
  • Are there any potential risks to me or my company? No. It is not appropriate for mentors to engage in any business transactions with their mentees; instead, the relationship should only involve the flow of general information and advice.
  • What should I do if my mentoring relationship isn't going well?​ We encourage letting the mentee know about the situation and contacting a program administrator as soon as possible. We will provide our full support to resolve the situation in a positive and satisfactory manner.
  1. Commit at least one interaction/hour of support per month.
  2. Set aside time for the mentoring process and honor all appointments.
  3. Invite the mentee to meetings or activities, as appropriate. Schedule meetings with planned topics.
  4. Be flexible on meeting times and places.
  5. Arrange frequent contacts through telephone, email, face-to-face, etc., as appropriate.
  6. Respond to emails from your mentee within two days of receipt.
  7. Keep information that your mentee has shared with you confidential. If something concerning the mentee needs to be discussed with others, it should first be discussed within the mentoring relationship.
  8. Establish open and honest communication and a forum for idea exchange.
  9. Foster creativity and independence. Help build self-confidence and offer encouragement.
  10. Provide honest and timely feedback to your mentee.
  11. Provide opportunities for the mentee to talk about concerns and ask questions.
  12. Above all, LISTEN.
  1. Try to give advice on everything.
  2. Encourage mentee to be totally dependent upon you.
  3. Provide your personal history, problems, animosities, successes, failures, etc., unless they are constructive contributions.
  4. Be too busy when the mentee needs your friendship or your support. If you do not have time, give the mentee a heads up, so that they know when they can reach you.
  5. Criticize.

Your corporate diversity targets are likely to focus on the below key areas,  Below we have indicated how MentorSET can help towards these targets. 

Recruitment of more women into engineering:

  • A mentoring scheme is a recruitment attraction for potential employees
  • MentorSET training will enable women to practice and excel at the recruitment assessment criteria that can be unfamiliar to them
  • Access to mentoring will increase their confidence and performance, and make them more successful at seeking and securing promotions
  • Your staff who mentor students will be encouraging more younger women to consider your company as a great place to work, and hopefully encourage them to pursue an engineering qualification
  • Using your employees as mentors puts you in touch with prospective future talent

Support of Women Engineers

  • Women will feel supported through access to mentoring which will allow them to share and work through issues and problems
  • Mentoring will identify training needs in the employee which can then be met
  • Career progression planning will give a sense of purpose and structure to employees
  • Mentors will network with one another and gain vital business opportunities and career benefits
  • Problems are able to be identified and solved before they lead to resignations

Retention of Women Engineers

  • Women who continue to be mentored through their maternity break stand more chance of returning afterwards
  • Women who are supported, trained, paid fairly and promoted fairly will be happier and more productive, and consequently more likely to stay with a company

Employ More Senior Women

  • Mentoring capability to senior management and board positions will increase the talent pool of women suitable for these positions
  • Cross sector nature of MentorSET will enable mentees to be mentored by senior women from other companies  
  • Women mentors develop important leadership and coaching skills

Other Business Benefits

  • Reverse mentoring will allow senior staff (often male) to see the company through the eyes of a minority group, and this will lead to an improved working environment, better mutual understanding and a more embracing company culture
  • Senior women will be seen as role models to other women, and their visibility across the engineering sectors will increase.
  • Cross company relationships can lead to business opportunities

The mentoring scheme could be used to run your mentoring scheme externally, or support an internal mentoring scheme where you provide the mentors and mentees.  To find out more, and see how MentorSET can be adapted to support your organisation's needs, contact Beatrice Pryor at beatrice.pryor@wes.org.uk

To join MentorSET

Mentees

The first step in your mentoring journey is to make your payment. 

Fee for Members: £48
Fee for Non-Members: £120

Click here to pay online. Not a member of WES yet?  Find out more about being a WES Member here.  Join WES online here.

Upon receipt of your payment, the MentorSET Progamme Co-ordinator will email you with a link to the platform and invite you to register.  Full guidance will be given on how to find a mentoring partner and get the most out of your mentoring experience.

Once you have been accepted onto the programme you can sign back into your account using here: https://app.mentorloop.co.uk/

Joining as part of a corporate scheme?  Please speak to your sponsoring company for information about how to join, or contact Cath Heslop at mentorset@wes.org.uk.

Any questions?  Contact Cath Heslop at mentorset@wes.org.uk

Mentors

MentorSET is free to join for Mentors.  Register here  Please note that mentors cannot be guaranteed a mentee. 

Additional support is given to mentors who are part of a corporate scheme to help them get matched with a mentee.