Equally challenging, however, is for the industry to attract AND retain women in the sector once they are in...as a respected female figure from the industry was explaining to me recently, the energy sector is male dominated, very technical, often requiring time abroad in distant locations, including the middle of the sea on an oil rig. Yes, I can see the challenges!!
Yet, I also understand that the sector needs all the talent it can get, whether female or male, to face current and forthcoming issues and to secure its prosperity and longevity. Talent is once again at the heart of the matter. But so is mentoring, if you ask me, and here I come to the core of this blog.
Why will I never tire of mentoring?
#1 Mentoring is crucial to attract, develop and retain talent
People are my passion. Helping people and organisations perform at their best, find their pathway, bring their whole of themselves to work is my job. Mentoring is and has long been one of the most effective ( if not THE most effective) tool to make this happen. By mentoring staff, providing mentoring opportunity to staff and indeed teaching staff how to embrace and practice a mentoring culture organisations create a positive, dynamic and utterly forward looking chain of engagement, knowledge transfer and networking that enables new recruits as well as current employees to see a career path, to feel empowered to take the journey knowing they are supported all the way.
#2 Mentoring is crucial to attract, develop and retain female talent especially
Not only are people my passion, I believe that supporting women grow and develop personally and professionally is truly my mission! I know from mentoring tens of women directly and indirectly, commercially and on a volunteer basis, individually and in groups, that women respond extremely well to mentoring. This is because mentoring often implies developing an in-depth relationship with your mentor (depth in relationships is something most women relish); because women can take mentoring at their own pace and because one of the key impacts of mentoring is growing one's self confidence, something most women cite as their number one hurdle to a more fulfilling life and career.
#3 Mentoring can be widely practiced and benefits all
Honestly, I can see and have found no downside to mentoring yet in all these years. On the contrary, mentoring is an activity that can benefit everyone, in any sector, at all stages of their life. Not only des everyone needs a mentor, but everyone can have more than one mentor, everyone can gain from acting as mentor as well being a mentee and everyone can learn mentoring skills. This is probably the only caveat I have. Whereas many thing that mentoring is intuitive, mentoring skills are life skills and should be appreciated, learnt, practiced and refreshed at times. Mentors and mentees who are not trained in mentoring skills can potentially damage a mentoring relationship (as mentors) or not maximise the opportunity (as mentees). However if training is undertaken and kept alive through on-going practice and refresher activity the risk is practically non-existent.
So that is why I will never tire of mentoring and why I guess SPE thought it would be good to talk about it.
If you are attending the conference on 20th May do come and say hello. But if you do not, yet want to know amore about mentoring, just get in touch!
Alessandra is an experienced mentor, business coach, consultant and strategist. She supports individuals - especially women - and organisations in achieving their potential through customised, outcome driven interventions . You can find out more about Alessandra here and contact her by email here.