What is the Importance of Professional Mentoring?

(LMF programme 2020 wrap up)

Did you know that 79% of Millenials see mentoring as crucial to their career success (Huffpost).

Given the impact of Covid19, we are heading into a global recession, with an estimated 1 in 10 people losing their jobs or being asked to reskill. This is one reason why the LMF mentoring scheme was launched and is carrying on to our second programme. [Sign up to the 2021 programme here]

This blog will provide you with a summary of what was discussed in our last December webinar titled “The Importance of Professional Mentoring.”

During the workshop, the mentors and mentees discussed their experiences, explicitly answering three questions :

  • What participants gained from the programme
  • Why professional mentoring is important
  • What makes a good and bad mentor.

What was the overall programme feedback:

The 1st mentoring programme had monthly events on topics such as goal setting, side hustles and communication.

89% of those who participated in the programme felt upskilled after attending the career-based workshops, with 100% cited as something they were missing.

The panel consisted of mentees, mentors and sponsors. All of those who participated in the programme felt they accomplished at least one set goal, which itself was incredible given we challenged them to set ambitious goals in the start.

What did participants achieve from the programme?

Cecilia — Mentee

“£13K Payrise during the pandemic, 2020” — Cecilia believed that the mentoring programme enabled her to access a variety of people and build relationships on a really flexible timing. She was impressed by the adaptability of the programme and time management, as she balanced work, life and family time. Cecilia also explained that through the programme, she was able to build confidence and gain a promotion.

Maya — Mentee

“Confirmed the passion and need for social mobility” — Maya felt that the programme was structured very well which helped her achieve her goals. Maya runs mentoring programmes for her day job and saw the benefit of exploring opportunities outside of work as well as internally. Given the success of the programme, Maya has joined the LMF network as their 2021 social mobility programme lead.

Christina — Mentee

“Encouraged her to launch her own programme” — Christina was appreciative of the programme allowing mentors and mentees with a range of experience, as despite running a creative agency she wanted to explore learning through the lens of a mentee. Christina firmly believes this programme secured purpose and gave her the confidence to got for things!

Naomi — Mentee

“Saw everything from a different lens, which was eye-opening” — Naomi came into the programme slightly as she was on a waiting list. Even on the waiting list, Naomi felt opportunities and activities were shared her way through the Slack community. With her mentor, Naomi was matched with a “white man” whilst she herself identifies as a “black women.” Naomi found that this experience of having a mentor who was completely different helped her to explore different perspectives, suggested new ways of doing the same task and grew her confidence in creating the life she wants. Naomi is coming back in programme 2 as a mentoring coach and LMF community volunteer.

Tania — Programme lead

Matched mentors with mentees on a 95% success rate” — Tania led the 1st programme from London and Mexico. Tania was the mastermind behind the insanely successful matching, where she consciously matched participants through a blind process (we won’t share the secret sauce). Tania was excited by the number of participants in the 1st programme with little marketing and the fact that everyone was so keen to get involved! For her, designing and delivering the programme alongside speakers enabled collaboration and community. Learning which she shared was that everyone was very open to human experiences, which she appreciated, for example having to re-arrange workshops or re-establish the rules. As a pilot, Tania deemed this as a success! In 2021, Tania will be taking a step back to focus on her film career and we wish her the best!

Aarthi — 2021 partner and mentor from Stripe

“Knew the LMF mentoring scheme was something to champion” — Though not a participant in the 1st programme, Aarthi was invited to share her experiences from the lens of an employer and future mentor. She explained that being a mentee in the past has enabled her to take on projects that she never thought she could take on and work closely with executives. By becoming a mentor and partner, she is hoping to pay that level of empowerment forward by guiding someone else in their journey.

Why is professional mentoring important?

87% of mentee and mentors feel empowered by their relationships.

Mentee’s are promoted 5x more than those who do not have a mentor and mentor are promoted 6x more.

These simple data points suggest that mentoring does not only benefit the mentee but also the mentor. Traditionally, mentoring is communicated around how the mentor helps the mentee, however in this new wave programme — we are promoting mentoring as a healthy 2-way relationship.

The panellists also spoke about how professional mentoring is essential. Christina stated that being part of the LMF mentoring programme has shown her that mentoring is open to everybody — you can be full time, part-time, freelancer, employed. This is a first-hand example of how mentoring is not just for graduates or students but anyone can join and benefit from it. Sonya, the founder of the @LMFnetwork, shared that for her, mentoring allowed you to build confidence in showing up as your authentic unapologetic self. For Sonya, the mentoring programme is a fundamental part of the network as it builds the soft skills required in the future of work.

Maya emphasised that professional mentoring is important as it allows you to bounce ideas off someone more experienced than you and Tania shared that others can give you that different perspective and insight, which is healthy for growth.

All panellists echoed that this particular scheme is important because :

  • It allows you the opportunity to be in a professional working relationship with someone who is more experienced than you, not necessarily junior.
  • You are encouraged to complete tasks, activities and coaching sessions every month.
  • There is a global community, so you are learning, embracing and empowering on a grander scale with people around the world — there is an overwhelming sense of community and belonging!

What makes a mentor bad?

A bad mentor is someone who:

  • Naomi — is impatient and not emphatic can make a mentor bad. A mentor needs to understand that it may take some time to get things done.
  • Aarthi — has a time management problem and not sticking to the time.
  • Tania — gives you ideas but doesn’t follow up.
  • Sonya — cares more about being on the programme to tick a box than actually investing in the person’s growth.

What makes a good mentor?

A good mentor is someone who:

  • Tania — is structured.
  • Naomi — has a good insight of where one could be heading into and brush off on my skills professionally, to receive constructive feedback, makes a good mentor.
  • Maya —listens.
  • Christina — understands the problems areas and can bring forward innovative solutions.
  • Cecilia — able to hone into their emotional intelligence and really understand the reasons why the mentee is involved.

Data from the workshop:

LMF network collected data from the workshop:

  • 100% of those who attended the workshop felt excited for mentoring especially for the LMF mentoring programme.
  • 80% of the attendees stated that they will be joining the mentoring programme 2 as a mentee, 20% of the attendees stated that they will join as a mentor.
  • 84% of the those who attended the workshop wanted to be supported with networking and 68% wanted to be supported with their careers.

[Sign up to the 2021 programme here]

All in all, the first mentoring programme was a huge success. We hope this pilot proves the need for companies, organisations and individuals to invest in professional mentoring.

This [programme] is one step forward towards a truly diverse, inclusive and socially mobile society! The LMF mentoring scheme is 10/10 and is highly anticipated by participants across the world!

Thank you all the participants, guest speakers and champions!

Who are the panellists?

  • Maya Welford — LMF mentee (2020) and Mobility Lead for LMF Mentoring Programme 2021
  • Sonya Barlow — Founder of @LMFnetwork
  • Aarthi Paul — UK&I Growth, Stripe and mentoring partner 2021
  • Cecilia Nunn — LMF Mentee (2020) and an experienced digital leader with a strong track record of delivering international projects
  • Christina Leaver — LMF Mentee (2020) and successful Creative Lead, art director, and designer; focusing on helping brands/clients connect with their audiences and tell narratives that resonate.
  • Naomi Ediru — LMF Mentee (2020)
  • Tania Croda — Programme Lead
  • More information on the programme itself can be found here.

Thank you to Sana Khan for writing this blog piece on the event and sharing her feedback as a 2020 mentee, which will be shared on Medium.

Bridging the skills gap and changing the narrative of inclusion! Global social enterprise and not for profit. 35K + Following; Community, Mentoring + Workshops!

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