Does anyone have -or had- an internal networking (or mentoring) group within their company? We are thinking of starting/recreating one and I want to discuss learnings/best practices.
The FDA had a formal women’s mentoring program. The program leaders kicked off the program with a goal setting/ clarification discussion with mentors and mentees to make the process clear. They did the match with mentors based on data from both parties. Protégées often wanted to be mentored by an organizational role model and had to be coached into another match. With proteges, we had a quarterly brown bag sessions to discuss general process and to provide some skill building workshops on how to get the most from the relationship. ( topics: asking good questions, dealing with a busy mentor to make the most of their time, how to ask for shadowing opportunities, what to do with a “bad match”, etc).
The program worked well but some protégées had unrealistic goals of promotions into jobs for which they would never be qualified for without specific advanced degrees. Others were disappointed they didn’t get promotions just by participating. So clarifying expectations and reasonable outcomes at the start is key. Busy and successful mentors often didn’t give as much time as protégées wanted. Happy to chat more off line.