Through our research we have identified that many young women lack confidence, do not have access to a variety of exemplar women in industry and would not consider themselves to be leaders in the future. On a scale of 1-10, a young woman, feels on average that she understands the different career choices available to her (6.3) but is less certain on how to achieve her specific career goals (5.5). She is also not confident in knowing how to achieve her personal goals (6.3).
The purpose of this programme is connect young women to women in the workplace who will support in increasing their confidence, inspiring them to aim higher and connecting them to various opportunities whilst giving them the tools, techniques and resources to do so. We want to give young women the opportunity to learn from those who have gone ahead of them and create a new generation of well-equipped and well-informed leaders.
In collaboration with Unilever we first piloted this programme in October 2019, over the course of 7 months. 6 female students were each paired with a mentor from the Unilever Women in Tech (WIT) community. Mentees and mentors met monthly in either a group or 1-1 setting at the Unilever offices, where they focused on topics such as careers, personal development and academic success.
In September 2020, we scaled and launched the InspireMe Mentoring Programme. This is a 10-month programme where young women, across the U.K., are matched with female mentors in corporate organisations. For our second cohort we collaborated with Unilever to pair 36 mentees with 36 mentors from various Unilever departments.
The InspireMe Mentoring Programme, in collaboration with Unilever, was recognised as an initiative that aims to increase diversity and inclusion in the Tech Sector on the 2020 ‘Women in Software’ Changemakers list
90% of pilot attendees responded that they felt more confident after completing the programme
94% of mentees in Cohort 2 believe that their mentors are accurately supporting them
91% of mentees in Cohort 2 believe that they have effective and rewarding communication with their mentors
Mentees are continuously learning new skills and developing existing ones including interview skills, workplace behaviour, CV and portfolio creation, confidence, personal branding and more
89% of mentors find the programme beneficial to their own personal and professional development
Mentors are continuously learning new skills and developing existing ones including coaching, management, leadership, empathy, resilience, problem-solving and more
This programme is run each academic year and the next cohort will be for the 2021 - 2022 academic year. If you are aged between 17 - 21 and would like to be on the next InspireMe cohort, then subscribe to our mailing list so that you have first access to applications when they are released in summer.
If you are interested in becoming our Corporate Partner and believe that your employees would be great mentors then this programme would be perfect for your organisation. Please do get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com with The InspireMe Mentoring Programme as the subject line.