At Million Women Mentors, the team recognizes that all mentoring efforts are not equal, so we want to create an environment that really works for you and your colleagues, but also puts a stake in the ground that mentoring is about an ongoing relationship and should not be confused with guest speaking or a one hour coffee chat (although both can be filled with gems of wisdom and ‘mentoring’ guidance).
Here is what we are proposing with this initiative.
Goal of 20 hours (just 2 hours a month!) to mentor a girl or young woman in STEM skills. Some women are bringing in three mentees now bi-weekly for coffee or lunch mentoring small groups with goals and accountabilities and yes, you can count all three in your pledge.
By the way, here is a 20 Hour Mentor Action Guide we developed with several partners to lay a framework and many of our sponsors are customizing this to align to their fields and executive approaches. We will have a full Knowledge resource center as well up on our web portal by February with many additional tools and best practices.
Mentoring can also take place in a more intense way through competition mentoring (think First Robotics and SkillsUSA Competitions) and a designated mentor supporting a female intern or apprentice.
We are huge fans of experiential learning and job shadowing especially in high school and younger.
Our five suggested pathways for mentoring are:
1] Face to Face
3] Internships and Apprenticeships
4] Early Workplace and Onboarding with a designated mentor
Now to Sponsor a female executive, you are championing her. You are speaking well about her to others and helping to elevate opportunities. For this crucial role and category, 4-5 hours could be life changing. Even 30 minutes a month to advocate and create opportunity is enormously valuable and can count toward the million. If you mentor + sponsor, you are our hero! We call this Mentor 2.0.
Questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up for our bi-weekly news and updates as we share progress and learning with the nation.
Julie Kantor, Chief Partnership Officer, STEMconnector and
Edie Fraser, CEO, STEMconnector