Mentoring in higher education
WEXDEV's information exchange and discussion about successful programs for women focused early on mentoring programs for women. Each of the institutions involved in ATN WEXDEV runs its own programs for women at all levels, though these have varied between formal or informal programs. An early publication was on mentoring programs for Women in ATN Universities. Through the national committee and office, information on successful practice is shared and where suitable is adapted by the other institutions.
Information and analysis on this subject have been incorporated in a 2003 paper by Colleen Chesterman:
Past Director of WEXDEV Dr Colleen Chesterman developed a Module on Mentoring for Women in Higher Education, for the Association of Commonwealth Universities Women and Management Program. The module consists of training materials for six workshops designed to be used in departments, faculties, divisions, institutions and regions.
Workshop 1: The first introductory workshop looks at definitions of mentoring and at what makes the mentoring relationship different from other helping relationships. It looks at the main functions of mentoring, at the principles and values underlying mentoring and the relative benefits of formal or informal systems of mentoring. It considers the benefits for the mentor and mentee of being part of a mentoring relationship and also the benefits that flow to organisations with mentoring schemes, with particular reference to higher education.
Workshop 2: The second workshop looks at higher education organisations and enables participants to form arguments about why mentoring would be useful for women in those organisations. It considers whether women, through their relatively limited access to higher management, are particularly well suited to mentoring relationships.
Workshop 3 and 4: The next two session are based on training that is needed for both mentor and mentee. They outline mentoring skills needed by both and at the best ways to develop these - and these are skills that are useful for generic management.
Workshop 5: A fifth workshop provides opportunities to discuss important and contentious issues such as cross-gender and cross-race mentoring, as well as mentoring by a direct boss.
Workshop 6: The sixth workshop provides materials to be used for support and evaluation workshops.
The module has been designed to be relevant both to organisations where managers who wish to consider introducing mentoring and also to people who are formally designated mentors or mentees. It is useful for people who are simply interested in the topic of mentoring or women who may wish to find themselves mentors on an individual and informal basis.
Colleen has introduced the materials in Mentoring for Women to institutions in Australia, South Africa, Pakistan and Malaysia and adapted them where appropriate.
Further information and opportunities to trial the modules can be provided by Colleen Chesterman