Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mentoring program for women in geoscience

The Association for Women Geoscientists has a (fairly new, I think) peer mentoring program.
From the Laramide Chapter newsletter:

Expectations and benefits for participants:
As a Mentor…
  • You will likely talk by phone or email 2 times per month during your agreed time period… normally 6 - 12 month but relationships can be shorter or longer.
  • You will be networking with the next generation… trying out new ideas
  • You will gain new perspectives and likely tap into new directions within the profession (regeneration)
  • Most mentors report learning new skills in coaching/mentoring and satisfaction of helping someone succeed
As a Mentee…
  • You will likely talk by phone or email 2 times per month during your agreed time period… normally 6 - 12 months but relationships can be shorter or longer.
  • You can seek direct feedback in a confidential relationship
  • A mentor will help enhance your networking skills
  • You will be able to tap the career wisdom of the senior members of AWG
  • Gain increased skills to self-direct your career
  • Together you and your mentor will gain insights into the professional culture
  • Most participants report gaining new role models and wider friendships
Benefits of the Peer Mentoring Center
  • Fits with adult learning preferences by building on work experience and practical exercises, by providing collaborative support via mentoring relationships, and by offering opportunities for participants to observe their own competencies.
  • Builds on best practices and research in adult professional development mentoring.
  • Provides easy access to mentoring guides and articles, tools for mentoring, self-assessments, and other resource materials. Materials have been written or assembled by an expert in mentoring research and practices.
A few other pieces of information:
  • Anyone* can be a mentor; only AWG members can be mentees (for now).
  • They are seeking mentors for both early career and mid-career professionals. (You can't sign up to be both a mentor and a mentee, though. Maybe that will change someday.)
  • The interests include lots and lots of things outside academia (writing, management, government, various industries). I suspect that this network may be particularly useful for women seeking jobs outside academia - it can be very difficult to figure out just what the possibilities are, especially when everyone you know is trying to get a job at a research university.
*There isn't anything on the registration form that says that one must be a woman to participate. (It also doesn't ask for gender anywhere on the form.) Men can certainly be AWG members, so... well, if you're male and interested, maybe you should contact them and ask about it.


Eric said...

I recently read about a similar mentoring program called MentorNet. It apparently is an online mentoring community that matches professionals with students. I read about it at the Science Career website:

Good to see a geo-centric version, though!

Chuck said...

Is it limited to academics, or can industry types do it as well? Also, is being deployed out of communication distance for weeks at a time a problem?

Kim said...

Chuck -

It's very much open to industry types. In fact, I think that it's mostly for non-academics. And they only expect contact once or twice a month, so it should be possible to work around field work.

Eric - I've heard of MentorNet, but I never knew much about them.

Elli said...


i would just like to say that you have been a great mentor to me since my freshman year--including kicking my butt now to get my dissertation done!

and i think it really helps to have someone else to call on and ask for advice. as well as know that your are not the only one to run into a given problem.

Kim said...

Thanks, Elli. :)

(I hope that that means that you're writing away!)