Mentors for Women is an organisation built to support women at all life stages, from all walks of life
It is an independent women's network, created to further women’s careers and enrich women’s lives. It offers membership to the network and entry to mentoring, empowering women to implement strategies for success
Mentors for Women is a social enterprise organisation which provides a new and unique concept in mentoring - a subscription-based service targeted at women.
We are unique because we have no boundaries. We support all women, from all walks of life, from all professions, and at all life stages, and not just individuals, but also organisations. Our aim is to make mentoring more accessible to women than it is today, particularly to women in junior and middle management roles.
Why Join Us?
Access to Mentoring
Joining will give you access to our bespoke mentoring system. You can search for your mentor of choice based on their skills, experience and availability, supporting a fully tailored experience exclusive to you.
We will manage the process and measure success, based on completion of the mentoring relationship and outcome of objectives agreed explicitly by and for you, giving you confidence that the experience will be exactly what you specify.
A mentor is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as an “experienced and trusted advisor”. Mentoring is about helping others develop in a positive way and more effectively. It is a relationship designed to build conﬁdence and support the mentee so that they can take control of their own development and progress. It is trust-based and conﬁdential and should help you to feel valued, represented, productive, self-fulfilled and rewarded;
To grow personally and professionally
To restructure or reprioritise your life
To overcome obstacles and barriers
To grow your career
Mentoring is not the same as training, teaching or coaching.
Access to Training
You will also have free access to a multi-level on-line training programme, aimed both at mentors and mentees. On-site training will also be available to you at a heavily reduced fee, and where-ever possible, in your local area. Training sessions are offered throughout the year so you will have the chance to choose a time that best suits your needs, not dictated to you.
Access to Events
We hold a variety of events on a regular basis, including small face to face local network opportunities, on-site training and an annual conference. As a member you will have free (or reduced fee) access to multiple as many events as you wish, without restrictions.
Access to Blogs and Publications signposted specifically for Members
Instead of having to hunt through multiple internet sites and libraries, use our carefully curated Signpost of Blogs and Publications which we think will be of interest to you, all free as a member.
We support The Helga and Laura Women's Foundation, creating bursaries for mentoring and women centric projects through reinvestment and voluntary donations. You can help us to grow this charity, giving opportunities to women who would not have this chance without your support. And in times of need, you can of course access this facility yourself.
Why Are We Needed?
Mentors for Women looks to provide a unique service which provides what women need to build their confidence and improve the diversity of the workforce.
There is a significant climate to increase the number of women in the Boardroom in the UK. Organisations like the 30% club are making a difference and do have a mentoring programme which is successful, but it is time bound and limited to the businesses which buy into the 30% club. When looking for any other organisations that provide mentoring, they are generally industry specific and limited in their reach. There is no general place where a woman can go to find a mentor.
Mentoring is of course only one aspect of support women need to gain the confidence to be empowered and inspired to move on with their careers, others being finding a sponsor, excellent line management and a training plan. Whilst mentoring is an aspect which adds real value to women’s careers it does not need to be tied to (or provided by) the workplace. The “Leaders and Daughters” Global survey in 2017 established a number of significant differences between women based on the country they lived and worked in and the age group they belonged to. The survey, first of its kind by this organisation, looked at the lives of 7000 women across seven countries, Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. The report makes very interesting reading and certainly shows the UK lacking in areas of mentoring. Some of the key points are:
Only 56% of women in the UK aspire to reach senior /executive leadership, in Brazil it is 92%
Women face consistent challenges across the globe, top 3 challenges; Broadening their skill set 32%; Sufficient opportunities to showcase their abilities and potential 29%; Balancing personal and professional lives 27%
Only 72% of women in the UK were provided with professional development opportunities
Only 54% of women have access to senior leaders who also function as mentors, in the UK 20% of women were unsure as to whether or not they had access to a senior leader as a mentor.
The Alison Rose Reviewof Female Entrepreneurship – identifying barriers faced by women when starting a business was commissioned by HM Treasury September 2018 and published in March 2019. This is another significant area that needs to change and the report details that mentoring of these women is a factor.
“From our detailed research we believe the biggest opportunities to help female entrepreneurs fall in three areas: – Increasing the funding directed towards them; – Greater family care support; and, – Making entrepreneurship more accessible for women and increasing support locally, through relatable and accessible mentors and networks.” Take a look at the article on the Alison Rose Review in the Daily Telegraph recently https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/women-entrepreneurs/how-to-find-female-mentor/ The Prince’s Responsible Network, Business in the Community provides Cross Organisational Mentoring Circles. The have a number on interesting fact sheets on their web site, including Women and Work, the facts. It was created in 2013, and it would be interesting to know how much had changed since then. Whilst mentoring is often viewed as an in-house function, a lack of available mentors, and certainly a lack of female mentors in an organisation can make this impossible. An external mentor can fulfil the role equally well, whilst also providing additional benefits such as impartiality, a view of how other organisations work and different experiences.
Access to a mentor at an early stage in a woman’s career is essential to a successful future. Women have less informal mentoring available to them, and interestingly in the Egon Zehender paper under the section relating to career influences, it stated:
“Who influences women’s development most? Overall, most women report that no one has been the greatest influence on career ambitions and choices.
Mothers (17%) are the second greatest influence, with fathers and husbands tying for third at 14%.
However, we saw drastic differences based on age. Younger women were far more likely to say their mothers had been the greatest influence on their careers, whilst older women were likely to say nobody.”
This clearly demonstrates what we have seen in the change of working culture over the last fifty or sixty years, with women taking their place in the workforce and striving for success regardless of the obstacles and wishing the same, or better, for their daughters.
Mentoring is only one element of what needs to change to make the most of a what is large percentage of the workforce. Sponsorship and management buy-in is also key, but mentoring provides a fundamental building block. Women often do not know what they need to be able to achieve the promotion they desire. The House of Commons Briefing paper "Women and the Economy'' shows what an important element of the workforce women are:
15.3 million women in the UK aged 16 and over were in employment in October - December 2018. The female employment rate was 71.4%, which is the highest it has been since comparable records began in 1971. The male employment rate was 80.3%.
9.0 million women were working full-time and 6.3 million were working part-time. 41% of women in employment were working part-time compared to 13% of men.
22% of women worked in high-skilled professional occupations in 2018, compared to around 19% of men. Around half of women in professional occupations in 2018 were employed as nurses, teachers or other educational professionals. However, a higher share of men than women were working as managers, directors or senior officials, with 13% of men in these roles compared to 8% of women.
Mentors for Women is making a difference to the lives of women from all walks and stages of life.
Diane Faben - Founder of Mentors for Women
Diane has enjoyed a career as an influential and versatile senior manager with a sustained track record of over 30 years success in the IT industry. An inspirational leader with proven expertise in diverse service organisations, she has successfully managed cultural change across all levels. Diane's main legacy her passion to motivate and develop high performance teams.
"After almost 40 years in the IT Industry, it has become really clear to me that we do not help our women reach their potential. We are still failing to achieve equality in the workplace and in the boardroom. I was a working mother with two sons, which has had a big impact on me reaching my full potential. I was very lucky when I joined the final organisation I worked for as my capability was recognised, and for many years and I was able to do interesting and fulfilling work, and was recompensed well for it, although still not on the same scale as the men I worked with! However I could never break through the glass ceiling. The organisation tried to set up a global mentoring programme for women by women, but it failed miserably. I spent some time one weekend supporting a personal development course called The Mastery.I spent much of that weekend talking to other women and realised just how endemic the issue is. The idea was born during that weekend
MentorsforWomen.com a much neededindependent organisation specialising in mentoring women."