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Mentoring


WAL is a movement for change aimed at positively encouraging gender parity in airfreight and, more broadly in the aviation and logistics sectors.

Launched in March 2021 by Céline Hourcade from Change Horizon and Emma Murray from Meantime Communications, WAL is mobilisng businesses, trade associations and individual professionals to advocate for change and define concrete targets and an action plan to achieve gender equality in air cargo industry.

Our
Objectives

  • Raise awareness of women air cargo professionals by celebrating and promoting their great achievements in the industry

  • Maintain a public database of female speakers in aviation and logistics

  • Set-up forums at global, local, or company levels to share best practices and actionable advice among industry peers

  • Establish a knowledge centre with industry facts and figures to raise awareness on current gender gaps within air cargo, including the gender pay gap and other inequalities, and open public debates to challenge the status quo

  • Increase gender balance in senior management and leadership roles

  • Push for progress in broader diversity and inclusion metrics across the industry

We believe it is everyone’s responsibility to contribute to making a positive change and ensuring our industry is diverse and inclusive.

Our informal mentoring programme supports the development of talented women in aviation and logistics.

What is
WAL Mentoring?

WAL mentorship is a light scheme across the industry and beyond the limits of a specific company offering participants a different perspective in career development and opportunities to be exposed to different practices and culture.

Mentors
We are looking for WAL mentors with different levels of seniority, backgrounds and experience, who have knowledge and wisdom to pass on and with a real interest for diversity and inclusion and a strong commitment to gender equality in the workplace.

Mentoring
Women

There are specific focus areas where many women feel they would benefit from help in developing in order to advance in their career:

Executive presence

Look and sound like a senior leader; radiate confidence; remain poised and self-confident at all times, especially during challenges; listen before advocating.

Personal branding or reputation

Intentionally impact what people think and say about you; be the author of the stories people tell about you; identify five words or phrases you want people to use when they talk about you and make sure you are bringing these characteristics to every interaction.

Strategic thinking

Have a broader, long-term perspective about the industry; ask strategic questions; become a good interpreter and storyteller.

Power and influence

Know how and when to gain support for your ideas and impact important decisions; build coalitions around your important ideas and initiatives – know who to inform, how they like to receive messages, what is ‘in it for them’ and gain their support; know what works in communicating with senior leaders.

Role of the WAL team

The WAL team promotes the initiative to recruit mentors and mentees, provides the framework and guidelines, help with the matchmaking process to pair mentors and mentees, organise a kick-off webinar and a feedback session.

The matchmaking process will be based on the profiles and objectives of mentees and mentors. The WAL team will try its best to assign a mentor with experience, knowledge or wisdom of value to the mentee.

The structure of the mentoring relationship, the objectives, lengths, set-up will depend on each of the mentors and mentees and each situation will be different.

From time to time, WAL will be promoting the mentoring scheme through media channels, to encourage participation, share best practices, highlight benefits of such learning and development practices. If you would like to be part of that messaging, please let us know.

Here are our suggestions for a successful mentorship…

Benefits

For the mentor

  • Recognition as a subject matter expert and leader
  • Exposure to fresh perspectives, ideas and approaches.
  • Extension of professional development record.
  • Opportunity to reflect on goals and practices.
  • Development of personal leadership and coaching styles
  • Personal fulfilment

For the mentee

  • Exposure to new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • Advice on developing strengths and overcoming weaknesses.
  • Guidance on professional development and advancement.
  • Increased visibility and recognition/ networking
  • The opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge.
  • Increased confidence

GUIDING PRINCIPLES
FOR A MENTORING RELATIONSHIP

Each mentoring relationship is unique, but there are some overall principles that apply to all mentoring relationships.

Mentoring is…

  • For the personal and professional gain of the person being mentored. It is expressly for their own growth and development
  • Confidential. In order to build and develop an effective mentoring relationship, discussions of private issues or challenges must be handled with discretion and sensitivity. Confidentiality will be maintained, unless one person has explicit permission from the other person to share.
  • Non-judgmental. A mentoring relationship provides a safe environment
  • in which a mentee (or mentor) can try out new things and take risks. In order for this to happen, both parties must agree to be open and non-judgmental.
  • Defined as much as possible. Expend energy early in the relationship to clarify roles and expectations.

What Is The Role
of a Mentor?

Every mentoring relationship is different and the role that a mentor plays is also different, depending on the situation and needs of the mentee. In your initial meetings, you’ll want to discuss which of these common mentoring roles is needed in your particular relationship:

  • Guide – Imparts general knowledge and experience; teaches a particular skill set generally in an area in which s/he is more experienced or skilled
  • Ally – Acts as a sounding board / straight talker; gives the mentee a reality check on his/her ideas, solutions, and strategies
  • Catalyst – Serves as an entrepreneur / creative motivator; asks questions to spark new approaches and business ideas
  • Savvy insider – Makes introductions / connections to people in different departments/divisions and across levels; provides information about organisational priorities, culture, or topics
  • Advocate / Champion – Speaks favourably about the mentee to senior leaders and others; Makes mentee aware of opportunities within the organisation
  • Role model – Provides access so that the mentee can observe his/her on-the-job behaviours or approaches so that the mentee can learn from his/her example how to do things effectively 
  • Advisor – Provides advice on a particular situation

What Is Not The Role Of A Mentor?

A mentor can serve as a guide, ally, role model, or in a number of other capacities, but a mentor is not a saviour, a parent, or an enabler.  When mentors fall in to one of the following traps, it can damage the mentoring relationship and/or the mentee’s ability to meet his/her current or future goals: 

  • “I will take care of you” / “I can help you”
  • “I can help you get ahead”
  • “You need me”
  • “I know best”
  • “Here’s what needs to get done”

What Do We Need to Talk About in Our First Meeting(s) Together?

Starting out with a mentoring relationship can be awkward, especially if you have never been in such a relationship before. But putting in time and energy as you embark upon a mentoring relationship is critical to set you up for success. If you don’t take the time to prepare, you will likely limit the eventual effectiveness of the mentoring. You’ll need some best practices for launching a mentoring relationship, and some initial meeting conversation starters to enable that successful outcome. 

Tips for beginning a mentoring relationship 

  • Recognise that you will both be nervous initially
  • Build trust and rapport, but don’t expect to have instant rapport. Relationships are built over time as each of you reveals more about yourself to the other person. 
  • Build rapport by sharing something personal about you, e.g. interests, joys, passions, strengths, weaknesses
  • Clarify roles – Use the roles listed above to talk about what kind of mentor the mentee needs.
  • Communicate expectations
  • How will you communicate? 
  • When/where will you meet?
  • How will you give each other feedback?
  • What are mentee goals / needs?
  • Develop goals for the relationship 

Initial meeting conversation starters

Use these questions in your first meetings as mentor and mentee to help solidify your successful working relationship:

  • Which assignments, jobs or roles in the past provided you with the most challenge? The least challenge? Why?
  • Tell me about an accomplishment of which you are especially proud.
  • What are your most important values? Which values are met and not met at work?
  • What makes you unique? What are your interests, skills, personal traits, style, passions?
  • What part of your education or work experience has been the most valuable to you over the years?
  • What actions have you taken to manage your career? What assistance may I provide?
  • What lessons have you learned from your successes and failures?
  • What is your biggest challenge in trying to balance your work life and personal life? 
  • How do you wish to work together / communicate? 

What Is The Role of a Mentee?

It is the responsibility of the mentee to drive the mentoring relationship forward by setting up meetings, and sharing goals for those meetings. The mentee “owns” the mentoring process and is responsible for whatever results from a mentoring relationship. These tasks are part of that responsibility:   

  • Set an intention for each session – The agenda for the meetings is yours. Do not depend on the mentor to come to the meeting and figure out what you want to talk about or need. Be direct in letting the mentor know how s/he can help you. 
  • Be “self-full” and put yourself first – The mentor has agreed to be present for you and to help you in achieving your goals. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to focus on yourself. You do not need to be curious about the mentor’s needs or desires. This is about you and your growth and development.
  • State what you need and want – Do not be shy to share what you desire. Your mentor can always redirect your request or help you to refine your goals, but put what you are aiming for out there as a starting place. 
  • Follow through by taking action on what you agreed upon – The work in a mentoring relationship is done by the person who most benefits from it – the mentee. Please respect your mentor’s time and commitment by following through on any actions you discuss together.
  • Assume responsibility for your own growth through this process.

Tips and Best Practices for Working Together As Mentor and Mentee

You are underway – You have embarked on a mentoring relationship! These tips will help guide you as you continue to work together:

  • You are both valuable to the relationship
  • You have to continue to build trust
  • Be positive, dependable, honest and sincere
  • Be consistent but flexible; expect changes in plans
  • Encourage, praise and compliment – even the smallest of accomplishments
  • Ask for what you need
  • Admit what you don’t know
  • Honour your commitment
  • Have fun

What Do We Need to Think About at The End of This Mentoring Relationship?

As long as a mentoring relationship is mutually beneficial to the mentor and mentee, there is no reason it would need to end. However, some relationships continue even after they are no longer productive or valuable. It’s important to be able to recognize the signs that a mentoring relationship should end and to employ some best practices to end on a good note.

Signs a mentoring relationship should end

  • Mentor and mentee don’t “click”
  • Mentee’s goals are accomplishedwom
  • End of agreed upon timeframe
  • Mentor or mentee cannot give it the time needed
  • Mentor is feeling overburdened by mentee requests
  • Mentee is not assuming responsibility for progress and/or for mentoring relationship

Tips for ending a mentoring relationship

  • Explicitly discuss whether the relationship should end. Don’t just let it fizzle out or ignore addressing any issues 
  • Agree on whether the relationship is ending
  • Agree on how to end (e.g. will you stop immediately or wean off slowly?) and future availability (e.g. when and how can mentee contact mentor in the future?)
  • Consider what has been accomplished / Celebrate successes
  • Discuss what remains to be done and mentee’s plan to carry it out
  • Share thoughts about the mentoring process
  • Thank each other for time, learnings, and mutual development
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