Mentoring is an informal and supportive relationship where a more experienced member of staff helps to guide a colleague in their work. Mentoring is a key part of the Athena SWAN charter and the Department of Biology offers support and mentoring to staff to help them develop their knowledge, networks within the department, and careers.
Staff also participate in external mentoring programmes such as those run by the British Ecological Society. For example, Dr Pen Holland currently acts as a mentor on the BES Women in Ecology scheme. These external schemes are open to postgraduate researchers as well as staff.
Researchers from the Department of Biology have recently secured funding for an international collaboration project to study fungi essential to soil health as part of a global collaboration that will also promote inclusivity and the retention of women and minorities in science. Dr Thorunn Helgason (Senior Lecturer in Ecology) and Dr Pen Holland (Lecturer in Ecology) are working with collaborators at DePaul University in Chicago, USA and the campaigning group, Ada Lovelace Day to undertake this research.
The University has both coaching and mentoring schemes available to staff. In coaching, a trained coach supports an individual in achieving a specific professional goal, helping the coachee to consider alternatives to their current situation and identify an outcome they are committed to. An individual may wish to have both a mentor and a coach for different purposes.
Springboard is a three-month personal development programme specifically developed and written for women. This internationally acclaimed programme supports women in achieving greater recognition and influence in their professional and personal lives and supports them in making positive changes.
The University's Careers Service offers mentoring for current students, staff and alumni through the York Profiles and Mentors hub. This allows you to search for graduates in career areas and ask them for advice and about the possibility of mentoring.