WSTEM — Guidelines and Responsibilities

The following will be discussed and expanded on in scheduled mentoring workshops/webinars/video sessions. A list of acronyms and abbreviations may be helpful with this content.

Guidelines

  • Mentors and mentorees understand that all participants enter into the mentoring relationship voluntarily and that the relationship is not binding.
  • Mentors and mentorees acknowledge that the relationship is for mutual benefit and improvement.
  • It is expected that all participants will complete the mentoring training offered as part of the mentoring program. This will facilitate the development of a mutually beneficial relationship between the mentor and mentoree.
  • It is recommended that the mentoree meets with her mentor(s) regularly — a minimum of once a fortnight. The length and form of contact (face-to-face, Skype, telephone) should be negotiated.
  • The WSTEM program adopts a no-fault-no-blame policy where either the mentor or mentoree can end the relationship without any blame attached.
  • A mentor’s advice and opinions are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the University of New England.

The mentoring code

Both mentor and mentoree will:

  • Maintain the confidentiality of the content of their conversations, except in the case of disclosure of unlawful activities or threat of self-harm
  • Create an environment that enables both to focus on goals and professional development
  • Discuss each other’s expectations of the relationship and how those expectations may be met
  • Recognise that the boundaries of mentoring are limited to professional and career-related goal achievement and that issues  beyond  this  may  require  referral  to  another professional, such  as a counsellor,  therapist  or  specialist advisor
  • Appreciate  that  the  mentor  is  not  a  professional consultant or intermediary and is not  empowered  to  act on the mentoree’s behalf
  • Honour each other’s time by managing  accessibility  and scheduling by mutual agreement;
  • Fulfil their agreement to mentoring by staying in touch with their mentoring partner until the end of the program or an agreed relinquishment of the relationship
  • Understand that mentoring relationships exemplify dignity, autonomy and personal responsibility;
  • Regularly review and provide feedback about their mentoring experience to each other
  • Ensure that they act with integrity and in such a way as to cause no harm to each other
  • Respect diversity and equity
  • Avoid exploitation of the relationship
  • Conduct themselves professionally and in a manner that reflects positively on the profession, the organisation and the mentoring program
  • Conclude the relationship respectfully when it ceases to be useful. 

Responsibilities

The mentor’s responsibilities are:

  • Maintaining confidentiality of matters discussed
  • Being accessible and providing an appropriate amount of time
  • Listening actively to the mentoree
  • Encouraging the mentoree to see situations from more than one perspective and helping them to explore options
  • Promoting responsible decision-making
  • Motivating and supporting the mentoree in the achievement of  their goals and  referring  them  to various resources
  • Ensuring a professional relationship, operating within the program’s mentoring guidelines
  • Offering advice, when asked, without being directive and enabling the mentoree to use problem-solving methods
  • Recognising your own professional boundaries and limits to your expertise and knowledge and referring the mentoree to other specialists for advice as required
  • Acting as a role model, embodying your organisation’s and profession’s values and ethical standards
  • Recognising when it is time to relinquish the role of mentor and doing so with good grace.

 The mentoree's responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining confidentiality of matters discussed
  • Initiating contact and setting the agenda
  • Candid discussion of issues
  • Openness to considering various perspectives and options
  • Gathering information from a variety of sources
  • Making decisions and choices
  • Taking action to achieve self-determined goals
  • Taking responsibility for your goals, decisions and actions
  • Ensuring a professional relationship, operating within the mentoring program guidelines and policies
  • Acting within the program's  values an  ethical  standards
  • Concluding the relationship graciously.

Support from the WSTEM team

You can expect support from the WSTEM team in regards to issue relating to the program including the development and management of the mentor-mentoree relationship. If issues are raised that are outside the scope of the relationship and you feel uncomfortable handling these please contact the program for confidential avenues of help and support for yourself and/or another member of the mentoring relationship.

Sometimes, through nobody’s fault, a relationship will not click. The WSTEM program adopts a no-fault-no-blame policy where either the mentor or mentoree can end the relationship without any blame attached. If a conflict arises between mentors and mentorees the WSTEM team will assist in providing support and guidance. However, it is advisable that where possible any issues are dealt with between the mentor and mentoree openly and as early as possible.

Contact: Email the WSTEM team.

Evaluation 

You should expect the WSTEM team to touch base periodically for a simple evaluation on how the program and the relationship are progressing. We ask that you provide frank, honest answers to assist the team to continually improve the program and meet your needs.

A version of these guidelines is available in PDF.