Who should lead the mentor/mentee relationship?
The mentoring partnership focuses primarily on the needs of the mentee and for this reason the mentee is encouraged to take responsibility for driving the relationship. A mentee should take the lead to arrange meetings, and for negotiating what they would like to achieve and how they would like a mentor to assist them. However, mentors may need to provide encouragement to their mentee, particularly in the early stages of the partnership, or if they are unsure what they want to achieve or are reluctant to take up your valuable time which can at times be the case.

What are the expectations for participating mentors?
We expect that you will fulfill your commitment to develop at least one mentoring relationship. We expect that a mentor responds to requests from mentees in a timely manner, and that you communicate with your mentees as agreed upon by both you and your mentees.

How much time will I need to invest as a mentor?
We recommend that you and your mentees agree on a schedule that works best for both of you. The most important thing is to discuss your mutual expectations about time and communication at the start of your relationship. Keep in mind that mentoring doesn’t necessarily require large amounts of your time. Even  brief phone calls or e-mail exchanges can make a big difference to your mentees.

What are the important things for mentor and mentees to clarify in the first meeting?
In the first couple of meetings it is important to explore what you might like to achieve through the partnership and how you might like to operate as a pair. Some examples –

•             How, when, where, how often, and for how long you will meet?
•             How formal/informal and how flexible you would like the relationship to be?
•             What goals the mentee has for the mentoring relationship?
•             Whether the mentee will prepare items for discussion beforehand or decide at the meeting?
•             What kind/how much contact you will have in between meetings, e.g. by phone or email?
•             What level of confidentiality you would like to work within?

What benefits do I receive from the organization if I participate as a mentor in the program?
All Mentors are volunteers. As an active program participant, you can gain access to WifA cohort here. Most importantly we hope that you will gain leadership skills from this mentoring experience and satisfaction of shaping your mentee’s career path.

What should I do if I don’t hear from the mentor I requested?
If you don’t receive a reply from the Mentor within one week, feel free to contact us and we can try to help establish connection.

What if the mentor/mentee isn’t the right “fit” for my needs?
Regardless of the information provided, Mentors and Mentees don’t always “fit.”  It requires effort and adjustment on both parts to learn and work with each other and make the most of the relationship. We do our best to create parings based on information provided in your forms but if for some reason you are not happy with your mentor/mentee, we suggest that you discuss your decision honestly and kindly with your counterpart first and if the understanding is mutual then thank them for their time. Do let us know as well so we can try to find you someone else and record your feedback for future.

Where can I meet with my mentor?
It is up to you and your Mentor to decide how, when, and where you want to pursue your mentoring relationship. It can be in person or virtual.

How long does the mentoring relationship last?
We recommend that you and your mentor agree on a schedule that works best for both of you. The most important thing is to discuss your mutual expectations about time and communication channels at the start of your relationship. While WifA MMP mentorship program is for a year, a mentor can be for lifetime if you establish a strong relationship.

How can I be a good mentor?
It is most important that mentors do not feel privileged or that they are doing a favor by mentoring. A mentor mentee relationship is one of respect and equal benefits to both. As a mentor you should be committed and clear i.e. make time for your mentee and also ensure you are not interrupted. Finish each meeting by making a time for the next one. Be a good listener and respect confidentiality. Find out about your mentee’s background and what they have to offer. Tease out an issue or problem with your mentee and empower them to find their own solutions. Don’t feel responsible for solving their problems for them. View mentoring as an opportunity to share experiences and ideas, and to see things from another person’s perspective. Encourage your mentee to meet with you even if they don’t think they have key issues or problems to discuss. Simply meeting and talking may spark off ideas for you to work on together.

How can I be a good mentee?
Being a mentee is an opportunity to learn from someone else and to share experiences and ideas. Don’t think of your mentor as someone to be approached only when you have difficulties or problems that need resolving. Good mentees are pro-active and make the time for mentoring to work. Don’t be discouraged if you and your mentor are unable to meet as frequently as you would like, or if meetings have to be postponed. Plan ahead and go into the relationship with some clear goals defined. Be 100% honest with your mentors and the more you share about yourself, the more trust you can build. Even if you may not have specific things to talk about, go have the discussion and share new ideas.

Do let us know if you as a mentor or mentee having any other questions that may not have been answered here and we can help to clarify and even add to this page.

WifA MMP Committee: Rebecca Sin, Winnie Khattar and Brenda Ching