Become a Mentor

 

Learn how you can make a difference for the next generation of women in STEM

Adapted from the National Mentoring Partnership

Most of us have had a supervisor, a boss or coach who has made a positive difference in our lives.  We encourage you to be that role model for the next-generation of women in STEM education and the geosciences.  Wherever you are along your pathway, there will always be someone with less experience than you who can benefit from your advice.

Of course, mentoring doesn’t just affect the mentee.  Mentoring is a shared opportunity for learning and growth, and you may be surprised by what you learn about yourself.  Many mentors say that the rewards they gain are as substantial as those for their mentees.  Those rewards include: personal growth, improved self-esteem, advanced understanding in their field of expertise, a sense that their efforts have made a difference, a better understanding of other cultures and a greater appreciation for diversity, increased productivity and a more positive attitude at work, and enhanced parent-child and supervisor-coworker relationships.

women_grassplot

How to Be a Great Mentor

The best mentors are willing to take time to get to know their mentees, to learn new things that are important to the young person, and even to be changed by their relationship.  These mentors often share a common set of basic qualities such as:

  • A sincere desire to be involved in the advancement of others.
  • A respect for all people regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, color, or race.
  • The ability to actively listen to others.
  • The ability to have empathy for others.
  • The ability to see solutions and opportunities.
  • The ability to be flexible, open, and understanding.

Opportunities to mentor

Wherever you are in your career, there will always be someone with less experience than you who can benefit from your advice.  Many opportunities can be found through your university and in your local community.  In addition, here are some national (and international) networks with opportunities to mentor next-generation of women in STEM education and the geosciences.

Emily Fischer & Sara Callahan @ Ute Trail
photo by S. Das

On-line resources