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Mentoring for Female Academics in STEM

A pilot mentoring programme for female academics in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Inova worked with a UK university to develop and manage a pilot mentoring programme aimed at supporting female academics in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine).

Women academics in STEM are under-represented across UK universities. The issue of the ‘higher the fewer’ is also seen according to academic staff category for women- with women representing 7.4% of Professors in UK universities compared to 92.6% of men.

The overall purpose of the mentoring programme was to help women lecturers to be put forward by their departments for promotion as well as generally promoting personal development for lecturers.

Inova matched mentoring pairs for the scheme, delivered training workshops for both mentors and mentees and ran drop-in sessions to support mentors and mentees in their development of skills and to provide support as the programme progresses.

Mentoring from Outside Department

Wherever possible, Inova matched pairs outside of their department and often outside of faculty, as this has been proved to be a positive aspect, strengthening the honesty and trust possible between mentors and mentees, in past mentoring programmes.

Working with someone from outside the normal working environment can provide a fresh look at the situation and methods to progress. This proved to be a good choice, as one participant commented: "
I am delighted to have been paired with my mentor."

Feedback from Mentees

"It has been a very useful and productive experience. I have gained immensely from this."

“I have enjoyed having the chance to meet and talk informally with a female professor working in the University. And also to focus on my career progression with someone who was happy to provide support."

"I am hugely appreciative of the time and effort that my mentor has given