Mentoring is the “presence of individuals who provide support, advice, reinforcement and constructive examples to help others succeed”. A mentor is a person of greater knowledge or wisdom who shares this experience to help develop abilities of those junior to him or her.
If you do not have currently have a mentor, I highly encourage you to seek a few out. Is there a particular woman or man you admire, do they have something you want? Ask them for a coffee and get to know them more, no need to ask if they will be your mentor right away, wait and see if your relationship just naturally evolves that way.
I currently have three mentors that I meet with on a regular basis and they have influenced and supported both personal and professional decisions I have made. I don't know what I would have done without them!
Some formal mentorship programs I love:
Association for Fundraising Professionals Mentor Program – The Mentorship Program is designed to match a relatively junior fundraiser with someone in the industry who has more experience in an area they would like to learn more about.
Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Mentor Program – Are you a woman entrepreneur looking for a mentor? Are you a business person ready to make a difference as a mentor?
Lighthouse Mentor Network:One of Lighthouse’s mentor groups may be just what you’re looking for. Lovingly and meticulously created by master coach, mentor, and facilitator Cathy Goddard, these tightly knit female mentor groups offer all of that, and more.
Minerva BC Programs
Vancouver Board of Trade Leaders of Tomorrow Mentorship Program – Engages final year post secondary students with established professionals in Vancouver’s business community.
Women's Enterprise Centre Taking the Stage and Peer Mentoring Programs. Other programs include One-to-One mentoring and mentor forums.
Women's Executive Network Top 100 Mentorship Program – I am currently one of the 100 Protege's across Canada and am loving the program. It includes a match with one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women and classroom room work provided by the SFU Beedie School of Business. One year in length.
Women in Leadership Foundation Mentorship Program – Aim is to increase women’s participation in management or leadership positions in Canada through combining mentorship and leadership skills development. Six months in length. Accepting applications in April/May 2011.
Women on Board – Mentoring Program promotes the appointment of women to corporate boards in Canada. By connecting talented senior executive women with board chairs and CEOs from leading Canadian companies
YWCA Vancouver Mentorship Programs – Including “Connect to Success”, High School, Aboriginal and Youth Mentoring
Young Women in Business (YWIB) SOUL (Supporting Our University Leaders) Mentorship Program – matches female university students with SFU alumni who are highly esteemed professionals in their designated area for a comprehensive nine month mentorship program.