Why should I join this mentoring scheme?

Mentoring offers you the time and space to explore your potential within academic life or within an administrative career, and chart ways to realise it. Your mentor will act as a sounding board and as a source of experience and guidance to help you navigate your career at Oxford and to support you in identifying and achieving your professional goals.

Who can be a mentee?

If you are employed at the University of Oxford or one of its colleges at Grade 6 or above and identify as Black and minority ethnic (BME), and would like to consider your career progression, then you are eligible for Pathway B.

How much time will mentoring take up?

Mentoring pairs should run initially for a twelve-month period (or for at least four meetings, whichever is sooner) but the relationship may continue, or be more frequent, by mutual consent. It is also likely, however, that the goals you and your mentor identify in the meetings will entail you dedicating additional time to your professional development, so you should also be willing and able to commit to carrying out any actions you commit to in order to get the most out of the scheme.

Where will the mentoring take place?

Sessions should be held at a mutually convenient location, which can be the mentor's office but need not be.

Will there be any extra support?

Once you’re enrolled on the scheme, you will be invited to an initial compulsory workshop in May with all other participating mentors and mentees. This is an opportunity to consider the commitment you will make as a mentee, understand the boundaries of the mentoring relationship and raise any issues; you will also be able to hone in on some of the things you would like to address through mentoring, if you are unclear. There is also on-going support from Laura Hodsdon and Machilu Zimba if required.

What is the mentor’s role?

Your mentor will be a more senior colleague who will be able to draw where appropriate on their own experience and provide some insights and thoughts, acting as a facilitator to allow you to consider your own issues and priorities. However, they are not expected to offer solutions nor to undertake work on your behalf. Getting the most out of mentoring requires you to be proactive and to bring your own ideas and self-reflection: this is about you generating actions, not about your mentor telling you what they think you should or could do.

Who can be a mentor?

Any member of staff at Grade 8 and above who has some experience in managing or mentoring. While we strongly encourage BME staff to act as mentors, we also welcome non-BME mentors. Training and support will be given to all mentors at the outset and, if required, throughout the programme.

If you have already had some experience in managing/motivating a team or been an informal/formal mentor you will already have many of the skills necessary to be a mentor.

What are the benefits of being a mentor?

While the focus of the mentoring relationship is primarily on the development needs and opportunities of the mentee, there are also benefits for the mentor including:

  • satisfaction of making a difference to someone else
  • sharing contacts and increased networking opportunities
  • increasing facilitation, communication skills, visibility, and reputation
  • for mentors who are not BME, a greater understanding of some of the issues that BME staff can face in their career progression.

What should I consider before committing to mentoring?

You should be able to commit to meeting your mentee at least four times with each meeting lasting at least one hour. You should also be able to attend an initial briefing session.

How much time will mentoring take up?

Mentor pairs should run initially for a twelve-month period (or for at least four meetings, whichever is sooner) but the relationship may continue, or be more frequent, by mutual consent.

Where will the mentoring take place?

Sessions should be held at a mutually convenient location, which can be the mentor's office but need not be.

How will you match me with my mentee?

We want to ensure that the mentoring relationship is a place where mentees feel safe to discuss any issues outside their normal department, so matching people from across departments is a priority. Beyond that, we’ll look to match mentors and mentees who state that they have similar experiences and are in similar career areas. If we have more mentors than mentees we will put your application on file and will try to match you when we launch the next cohort.

We will let you have the name of your mentee before letting them know you have been matched with them, and you should feel free to let us know if you feel they are unsuitable for any reason.

What is the mentor’s role?

As mentor you will be providing access to a more senior level within the University and will be able to draw where appropriate on your own experience to provide insights and guidance. However, you are not expected to offer solutions nor to undertake work on your mentee’s behalf, but rather to facilitate the mentee in being proactive and to bringing your own ideas and self-reflections to generate actions.

Will there be any extra support?

Once you’ve been matched with a mentee, you will be invited to an initial workshop in May with all other participating mentors and mentees. This is an opportunity to consider the approach you might take as a mentor, understand the boundaries of the mentoring relationship, raise any issues, and to reflect on how race might be a factor in the mentoring relationship as well as in the challenges and opportunities your mentee may bring up. We’ll also provide you with some resources and further information that you may wish to use. There is also on-going support from Laura Hodsdon and Machilu Zimba if required.