Task Force Members
Working Definition of Mentoring
Mentoring is a relationship which is established with someone who is an expert in their field. The mentor is usually older, but not necessarily in age, and is more experienced than the person being mentored. The mentor offers their knowledge and wisdom to the mentee. The mentee looks to the mentor for guidance, encouragement and advice.
Mentoring is a learning process that involves a skilled or experienced person (the mentor) with a less experienced, less skilled person (the protégée). The goal is to provide opportunities for the protégée to continually develop her skills and knowledge, thereby enhancing her success. Mentoring is based on the sharing of experiences. The protégée wants to learn from the experiences of the mentor. A mentor is not paid for her work.
- Professional knowledge (expertise)
- Functional knowledge (leadership)
- General experience in business and profession
This knowledge is shaped through experience and expressed in the emotional intelligence of the mentor.
Mentoring is a combination of many things that can’t be learned only in theory.
Mentoring is one of the tools to realize the aims and objectives of BPW. Our members are from all professions, they have an immense source of knowledge and experience that can be shared. Mentoring between members is a superb means to empower women and to strengthen club life.
BPW sees mentoring as a learning process between two individuals. It offers support to develop a program for mentoring between two people: a mentor and a mentee (called tandem mentoring: two people riding a bike to reach together a goal they agreed on).
Formal mentoring follows a program that provides a framework to make mentoring relationship successful. This framework includes:
the matching procedure (search of a mentor for the protégée)
an agreement between mentor and protégée about the goals to reach a limited time target and an evaluation.
Informal mentoring starts usually at an early stage in people’s careers. You find a person of whom you admire his or her skills or experience, who has reached a higher level in professional life or who possesses outstanding qualities you admire. You ask this person to tell you how she does things, you ask for advice or even ask her if you could accompany her in her work. Sometimes you only observe and talk with her about your own work. This form has no rules or time limits. It just “happens” and then ends unobserved.
Note. Not all the clubs are organized in the same way. There may be a board of directors or a club committee, depending on the national structure of BPW.
Whoever instigates the mentoring is responsible for implementing the programme and seeing it through to the end. This may be a local club, several clubs together or a whole federation. The board (of directors) of the club provides the structure/intent of the programme i.e. rules to show how the programme should be carried out.
The direct contact for mentees/protégées and mentors will be a person appointed by the club. This person in charge of mentoring (or a supporting team) will match people into a mentoring tandem and evaluate the results of the mentoring programme. She will have the support of the board (or club committee) of either local or national clubs.
There are different possibilities for launching, operating and controlling a programme. It normally depends on the club resources.
Setting up a programme takes time. It is a good idea to build up a team of BPW members to set up a programme. The programme has to be approved by the board and the rules have to be communicated to the club. Another point to decide will be who is admitted to the programme: members only or potential members who apply for a testing trial.
Mentoring is volunteer-based. There are no dues to be paid. The clubs can choose to charge for their help but the mentoring programme itself is free.
Privacy: Mentor and mentee respect privacy and keep all information confidential.
Responsibility: Mentor and mentee are equally responsible for the success of mentoring.
Professional secrets: Both mentor and mentee keep all professional information confidential.
Date security: The dates are only for the use of mentoring and the person in charge of the mentoring program.
Evaluation: Mentor and mentee evaluate their common work in view of the agreed on aims and the quality of contacts.
Responsibility: The person in charge of the mentoring program evaluates regularly the success of the mentoring.
Problems: If a disagreement arises, and you are unable to resolve it, then the person responsible for the program must be informed.
It is not necessary that a member of the board takes care of the program. If you have members who are teachers at a professional school or who take care of apprentices or trainees in an enterprise, they will be qualified to take care of a mentoring program.
We can give you forms and information for a mentoring program and give you instructions to establish mentoring at your club! The most important forms already exist! (Application, Mentoring Agreement, Evaluation).
There are many different ways of offering mentoring. In due time we shall offer you more information about how mentoring is done in different clubs. (Matching programs, Finding a tandem partner at special club evenings or group mentoring etc.)