Women in FCERM Mentoring Programme
In 2019/20, Women in FCERM piloted a group mentoring programme. It was designed to connect people who have a particular skill set (mentor) with a small group of individuals (mentees) who would like to learn from each other, develop and make progress toward their personal and professional goals. The ‘group’ element of the mentoring pilots aimed to build and maintain rapport and relationships between the mentors and mentees so everyone felt comfortable, supported and confident in sharing issues and concerns.
Eight FCERM mentors from the Environment Agency, AECOM, and a Local Authority each mentored a group of up to 4 women over 6 months. They met face to face and virtually, with each group focussing on a different area or skill they wanted to be mentored on, for example, personal presence and confidence; speaking in public; and part-time working and career development.
Despite a challenging year of flooding and Covid-19 affecting the opportunities for face to face mentoring, the pilots successfully concluded in the summer. Both mentees and mentors found the experience positive and rewarding.
Our Mentors said,
‘It was my pleasure to be as a mentor on this platform and really loved sharing my experiences with other women who face similar challenges and I also learnt from theirs. It was a very positive journey. Thank you to give me this opportunity to be part of it. I will still be continuing my group’.
‘Having never done anything like this did push me out of my comfort zone but I found it an immensely useful and positive experience. I feel I have gained confidence in myself and my own skills and abilities’.
Our Mentees said,
‘I just wanted to share the news that I have a new role in the EA. I’ve really benefited from your mentoring in the ‘Women in FCRM’ pilot so want to say a huge thank you. The other mentees and I have agreed to continue supporting one another with quarterly check-ins, and ad hoc meetings as necessary so it’s had a really positive impact. We all seem to be driving forward with new opportunities and roles’.
‘I have gained confidence, practical skills and techniques and been put forward for a bonus which I wouldn’t have pushed for before these sessions’.
‘I hope you run more of these. This one has been really helpful. I was encouraged by my manager to speak in front of 30 people, which I think I would have attempted but I would have probably had a breakdown if it wasn’t for the guidance of this course to help me get through it! So I can say it’s been a success for me’.
WiFCERM Mentoring Programme 2021
Are you looking for a mentor in FCERM, but not sure where to start, who to ask, or what to ask them?
Or maybe you have knowledge and experience to share and help women across the FCERM sector develop and fulfil their potential, but not sure where to start?
The WiFCERM mentoring programme offers a different mentoring option. It is a group based programme, based around specific topics which all of the mentees have chosen to develop or achieve personal growth in, led by a mentor.
Being a mentor can improve skills such as communication and leadership as well as allowing you to share your knowledge of your work area and experiences. Providing support and guidance to a mentee can provide a sense of fulfilment and personal growth. You don’t need to have previous experience of being a mentor (or be a woman), just be able to provide support and guidance to a group of 5 mentees over 9-12 month period, through both face to face and virtual meetings.
Becoming a mentee in a group mentoring programme provides a safe haven for you to explore personal, work and career issues. It will give you an opportunity to gain insight and develop a network of people that can support your personal and career goals.
Our spring 2021 group mentoring programme is now full, and we are currently accepting applications from mentors and mentees working in the FCERM sector to join our autumn 2021programme.
Please contact WiFCERMMentoring@environment-agency.gov.uk. We will use the application forms to match mentees and mentors and create our mentoring groups.