Mentoring is increasingly recognized as an important
training and developmental tool. Most senior business
leaders have been mentored at some point in their
careers, and mentored executives seem to enjoy higher
levels of remuneration than their non-mentored peers.
The Global Network of Women ICT Decision-Makers
has set up a mentoring project to enable professional
women who have established their careers in ICT to
share their experience with girls, and encourage them
to embark on a career in ICT.
Mentors do not attempt to advise mentees directly.
They assist and guide their mentees to come to their
own conclusions as to how best to achieve their goals.
The most important characteristics of mentoring are relationship
building and the trust that develops between
the two sides. The mentor needs to encourage the mentee,
and enable the mentee to see all her qualities and
be the best she can be. In order for mentoring to be
successful, both sides must be willing to dedicate time
and effort to the relationship.
Whether as a mentee, gaining the experience and
guidance of a professional who has been there before,
or as a mentor, receiving full mentoring training and
contributing to the development of others, participating
in mentoring is hugely rewarding.
Shadowing is a training technique where a person
(the shadow), usually a student, is paired with a leader
in the workplace (the host) to enable the shadow to
get a hands-on feel of what it is like to have a career.
Shadowing is a popular way of training new employees
so that they can seamlessly begin to work in a new
The idea of the shadowing project set up by the
Global Network of Women ICT Decision-Makers is to
use this technique to promote careers in ICT to young
women. The focus is on students who are about to
choose which subjects to specialize in. By taking a firsthand
look at the world of ICT work, they can see how
fulfilling and rewarding ICT careers are. Bringing students
into the workplace to see a highly placed woman
ICT decision-maker at work makes the option of pursuing
a career in ICT very real and tangible.
The shadowing project shows female students why
they should continue their education and why they
should pursue careers in the field of ICT. It creates a
critical link between education and success.
Guidelines for mentoring and for organizing a Shadowing project are available at www.witnet.org