From November 2019 to June 2020, the mentors and mentees were taking part in "BayernMentoring PROFI", a support programme established by the „Landeskonferenz der Frauen- und Gleichstellungsbeauftragten an Bayerischen Hochschulen“ (LaKoF).
At the closing event, organised by the HNU Women's Representative Prof. Dr. Claudia Kocian-Dirr and Equality Officer Magdalena Fremdling, they concluded their two-semester cooperation together. The aim was not only a to look back, but also to look ahead and to exchange ideas intensively: What experiences can we take away from this? How can we benefit from this in the future? Where do we go from here?
This year's focus: The development and promotion of leadership
For almost two semesters, mentors from the business world accompanied the students on their way, gave helpful insights into their own biographies and supported the young women with advice and assistance in their career development. In this year's mentoring cycle, the focus was on leadership: What role does successful communication play in leadership? How do you make
"smart decisions" for your own career path - and what does that mean anyway? The participants addressed these and similar questions in workshops, at collegial case discussions and at networking evenings.
The mentoring principle: exchange at eye level, an open ear and lots of active support
"I had great support from my mentor," Mentee Olga Puz sums up. She found the intensive exchange of experiences, for example about challenging professional situations, particularly helpful. For the business studies student, success stories are generally encouraging: "If other women have mastered difficult situations, then I'll manage it too!“. Her mentor Stefanie Bayerl knows her way around: A few years ago, she herself was a mentee in the BayernMentoring program. Back then, she was particularly fascinated by the number of female role models in companies - and now she would like to be one for her current students. "One of my mentees is writing her final thesis with me in the upcoming semester. As a mentor, I am of course pleased to be able to give not only theoretical advice, but also to provide my mentees with practical support in their studies," explains the industrial engineer.
Role Models: The core principle of BayernMentoring
Magdalena Fremdling, who has been organising BayernMentoring since 2007, knows how important role models are when it comes to equality agendas: "Structural changes require individual changes in behaviour. This is easier if we have good role models, people who show us that change is not only possible, but also good for all of us. For Prof. Claudia Kocian-Dirr, the impulses that mentors can give students as they make the transition to working life are also particularly important: "How curious the students are about role models and their lives - to see this "aha effect" on the faces of the students is always my favourite moment at BayernMentoring.“
A feedback round with a "red thread" and a interactive quiz, completed via smartphone and app, loosened up the final round. A joint photo shoot was also on the agenda: "That was a nice way to end the event and also to take a souvenir with you," says mentor Stefanie Bayerl.
A finale, but not a farewell: The mentoring participants will stay in touch
Of course, this final even was not a final conclusion: mentors and mentees stay in touch - and meet again at the latest at the planned alumnae meeting 2021, which is an integral part of the BayernMentoring principle.
Have you become curious? If you are considering becoming a mentor or mentee yourself, you can find out more at https://www.hnu.de/bayernmentoring (opens in a new window).