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  • Writer's pictureConnect Magazine PWN Vienna

Mentoring Program 2018/19

by Karin Fleck

We have started this year's mentoring program with a lot of new ideas, for that we needed more volunteers, and luckily Solweig, Gerlinde, Gabi and Shirley dedicated a lot of their time to make this all happen. We have communicated very early on the schedule and the plan which can be found on the PWN Vienna website and also provided a FAQ regarding the program.

Mentee workshop in November 2018

What makes our program so unique, attractive and successful?

  1. We match people personally, making them fill out an application form and send in their CV, looking for the best matches between mentors and mentees, and even mentees between mentees in group mentoring

  2. We monitor the progress and the quality with workshops and surveys

  3. We offer extra services to mentors pre kick-off workshop mentor training and supervision.

  4. We keep since last year records of all mentors, so we can call in mentors if needed.

  5. We started to create a mentor community, so we can cater for most mentee requests.

  6. We offer topics, that is not common in mentoring generally nor in PWN global, and our topics have attractive and meaningful names. 

  7. We communicate with our mentees before they drop out, and try to solve issues between the mentors and mentees.

  8. We offer group mentoring, which is also not so common within PWN global 

  9. We wrote a mentoring handbook.

  10. We provide mentoring documents to guide the mentors and mentees through the process.

  11. We address very different women (and men) in very different stages of their career path (from students to executives).

  12. We have topics concerning very business related topics as well as personal development topics.

  13. We engaged men as mentors and mentees.

  14. We use google tools, the contacts, the calendar, the forms, the drive, the photos, and meets (Video conferencing) and try to professionalise the communication and organisation to mentors and mentees (still learning how to use them).

  15. We secured over 60 paying members for the organisation with this program (still learning how to use them).

  16. We handle the data of our participants with respect and confidentiality.

  17. We keep on developing the program.

We started late with the call for participants this term. In the preparation it was agreed with the presidents that we do want to grow in comparison to the last years program (which had 90 applications). We set our goal for this year to reach 100 applicants (both mentors and mentees), making this the largest mentoring program in PWN Vienna history.

  1. It started with a Mentoring Breakfast in September 1st. This was a new thing compared to last  year.

  2. Followed by Link & Learn event in the Grand Hotel. Application ended in September and we have reached our 100 applicants target! That meant answering hundreds of emails in short timethis meant reading hundreds of CVs and applications. That meant a lot of discussions in the team on finding the right match between mentors and mentees and finding last minute mentors also promoting the program on all type of channels securing the locations and preparing documents and updating the information, lists and organisational documents.

  3. We had a marvelous Mentor Meetup in the Cambridge Institute getting new and previous mentors up to speed 1st of October.

  4. The Kick off was hosted at a new great venue Wir.sinn on 3rd of October. 

  5. We have hosted last Sunday a Social Breakfast. This was requested from last years participants, that wanted to connect within the mentoring program.

  6. We had to move the originally planned Mentee and Mentor Workshop in December at the Cambridge Institute. These workshops are about finding out about the first meetings of mentors and mentees and are our way to make sure the matching works. Mentee Workshop 5.12 Mentor Workshop 3.12.

  7. There will be mentor trainings in December, on Fridays (dates not set yet) to get new mentors up to speed on the program and train them on mentoring (this is provided by Gabi, the locations will be either in a Cafe or at Gabis place) this is also a new offering requested and we try it this year the first time.

  8. We are also starting in the coming days a new program called the Reflective Mentoring Space, a supervision offering to mentors by Shirley, and CSA Mentors will have the opportunity for a small fee to be supervised in five sessions to reflect on their mentoring techniques and approaches. This is a unique offering in all of PWN Global to our knowledge and will provide a new extra quality to our program. We have started this last year and because of the great feedback we wanted to try it again with professional partners.

  9. There will be workshops held in March 2019 for mentees and mentors again.

  10. While also planning to providing social events for mentors and mentees. 

  11. We will also invite the steering committee to participate in a workshop with us on the next years mentoring program, to engage everyone more, get feedback and new insights, and explain why we do things the way we do.

  12. And of course there will we PWN Vienna Mentoring Closing event for all members of PWN Vienna.

We are still matching mentors and mentees

There are changes in the pairings and people dropping out. This has happened also last year and is unavoidable since the matching is never perfect and sometimes the focus of the participants shift. What is nice to notice, we have returning mentees and mentors from last year, which shows we are on a good path.

We hope you see the success of the program as a success of all of us and as well as challenge at the same time having such a large program. Please support us whole heartedly! With recent changes in the steering committee and new volunteers joining, we are more than happy to answer all questions and concerns regarding the program. Last but not least: a big thank you to Solweig stepping in on short notice and reading and answering endless emails and organising all documents. Gerlinde for looking for partners and great locations as well as connecting the members in the mentoring program. Gabi to provide training and insight into her enormous experience. Shirley to offer such a great service and her incredible knowledge in this field and her healing hugs and thanks for the SC support.

We rise by lifting others!


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