International Mentoring Day 2024

17th January marks International Mentoring Day, and as it’s just one week before the end of our first MentorHER cohort, what better time to take stock of the journey we’ve been on.

We asked our Mentees & Mentors for their reflections on this experience – from why they chose to join, to what they’re taking away.

100% of respondents said they would recommend getting involved with MentorHER to a friend or colleague 🎉

What our Mentors & Mentees said about MentorHer:

‘Mentoring has significantly enriched my personal and professional growth by providing valuable guidance, fostering a supportive environment, and offering insights that have helped me navigate challenges with greater confidence. The mentorship relationship has not only expanded my skill set but has also played a pivotal role in shaping my perspective, encouraging self-reflection, and ultimately contributing to my overall success and fulfilment .’- Bekki Walker, HR Coordinator, IMS

‘Being mentored as a young woman in tech has been like having a savvy friend who helps me figure out the tech maze, boosts my confidence, and shares tips on everything from topical book recommendations to handling workplace challenges. It’s like having a behind-the-scenes pass to the tech world, making it less daunting and much more of an exciting adventure.’ – Ellena Martin

‘Joining the mentorship program was a key step in growing professionally, helping me zero in on what I really want and aim for. Getting to build a strong bond with my mentor was incredibly valuable, as it boosted both my skills and my confidence. I signed up for this program to push my career forward and was inspired by its focus on women. This whole experience clarified my professional goals and dreams, motivating me to go after them’ – Mariya Podosinova, Full-stack Developer, Accenture

‘I thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor with MentorHER and I would highly recommend it to others. I was able to build a very collaborative relationship with my mentee, actively listening to her experiences and providing guidance, constructive feedback and objectives in each session. The mentoring process was mutually beneficial in not only hopefully developing my mentee’s skills but also my own interpersonal and communication skills. Guiding my mentee through current challenges using my past experiences was incredibly fulfilling and I hope that it will be a stepping stone to her achieving her goals.’ – Nadia Belkacemi, Solicitor at DAC Beachcroft LLP

‘In tech we talk a lot about scaling both in terms of product development and the business, it’s all about growth, expansion, and the demands it brings.  When scaling an organisation, it’s key to have the right people and skills and this is where mentoring can add real value in terms of helping mentees see where and how they can go to next.  I joined Manchester Digital’s MentorHER programme as I thought my experience, and experiences, could be useful to another person, I felt it was time to ‘give back’. What I didn’t expect was the positive impact on me – a brilliant two-way process.’ – Elaine Mullan, Head of Marketing and Business Development, Corlytics

‘Having previously benefited from being a mentee, I was excited to step into the role of a mentor. It was a great opportunity to connect and exchange experiences with someone in the same industry as well as answering unexpected and thoughtful questions, which broadened my own outlook and boosted my confidence.’ – Emma Millar, Senior Automation Test Engineer

‘I joined the mentoring programme as I thought it was a good opportunity to learn the skills and techniques it takes to become a great mentor. I had never mentored anybody before and having just moved into a leadership role which includes managing a team of people, I thought I could use the skills and experience from this programme to help develop people in my own team, as well as the person I’d been paired with on the program. I’ve had some great mentors in my career that have had a huge impact on my development, so now I want to do the same for other people starting out in their career.‘ – Jenna Gregory, Senior Customer Engagement Manager, Auto Trader

‘I joined a mentoring programme as I feel it is important for more women to work in tech. I’ve worked in software engineering for 10 years now and have not worked with many women. It would be great to see that change and I want to offer what I can to help. If anything I have learnt over my career can help and encourage other women then I’m glad to be able to share it.’ – Emma Victoria Smith

‘Working in any industry where you are a minority can be a difficult environment. I think one of the most important lessons we can learn is these difficulties have nothing to do with your skill at your day job.   We all need to listen to each other to create spaces where we can feel understood. Being a mentor makes me feel that I am part of that solution.

Often, the contextualisation of challenges faced by women in the industry, necessary to see the bigger picture, can only come from other women. Mentoring of women by women gives critical perspective of experiences to both parties. It lets the mentee see it is not just them, which can be empowering, and it allows the mentor to derive value from their own experience by sharing it with others so that they can learn from it.’ – Sarah Carswell-Bowmer

The journey

The wonderful women of Cohort One

Programme leads

MentorHER Cohort One was co-led by Digital Her’s Kirsten Peters Roebuck and Auto Trader’s Heather Leonard. They loved working with this inspiring group of women and had a lot of fun in the process!

Sponsored by Auto Trader UK

Digital Her is extremely grateful to Auto Trader UK for their sponsorship of MentorHER which allowed this programme to happen, and for their practical contributions to the creation of the programme. Thank you!

If she can see it, she can be it

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