500 Women Scientists is dedicated to building and supporting women leaders throughout STEM fields. Effective mentorship is crucial to achieving that goal. Below, our partners from the Three Circles of Alemat — a project aimed at establishing a global program of mentorship for women in academia — lay out their definition of mentorship.
Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship between two people. Traditionally, a mentor is more senior and provides guidance while the mentee is more junior and seeks advice. However, peer mentoring, where both people receive support and input from each other based on their skills and expertise in specific areas, is a powerful model. Mentoring allows the building of relationships based on trust and is a holistic approach that differs from traditional career guidance through its extension to personal life and its informal and unstructured approach that allows the shifting and changing of participant priorities.
Mentoring relationships allow participants to tailor the nature of their relationship according to their respective priorities, redefine what success means to them, and determine where they want guidance in their life. The focus is on happiness and satisfaction, not traditional concepts of success. Mentoring relationships also teach participants the necessary personal element of networking, indirectly improving this skill.
Below are a list of resources that can help you launch and maintain a mentoring network in your pod, workplace, department, etc. Reach out to us with questions, feedback, or ideas for other links to add to this mentoring page.
The objective of the Mentoring Toolkit for mentors and mentees is to assist organizations in creating circles of mentoring and social networks that promote their professional life and boost their personal well-being. The toolkit provides guidelines that are general enough to support a grass root approach for unique solutions accommodating local context through holistic mentoring. Featured in NatureJobs.
The NRMN is a nationwide consortium of biomedical professionals and institutions collaborating to provide all trainees across the biomedical, behavioral, clinical and social sciences with evidence-based mentorship and professional development programming. This resources is aimed towards enhancing the diversity of the NIH-funded research workforce, but can be applied generally.
The Undergraduate Research Committee at OpenLab at City Tech created a Mentoring Handbook describing concepts and benefits of mentoring, strategies for becoming an effective mentor, and strategies for becoming an effective mentee. Thanks to Dr. Emily Rice for recommending this resource.
Useful Blog Posts
Joanne Kamens, who has spent years organizing mentoring programs for scientists and doing training to help mentors and mentees have fulfilling, productive relationships, answers seven FAQs about mentorship for Addgene's Blog.
The Small Pond Science blog has covered mentorship in several blog posts, and they've aggregated these discussions and resources into a useful page for your use.