Aspire - Leadership for the future

Aspire Foundation Mentees - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What topics are covered in mentoring sessions? 

A: Topics are determined by the mentee and can include areas such as managing a team, career planning, strategy, communication and influencing, raising profile, personal confidence and work/life balance.

Q: Will my mentor have specific knowledge of my industry?
A: Not specifically, the objective of the Aspire Foundation mentoring programme is to partner the expertise and experience of the business and corporate world with charities and social enterprises. Therefore, your mentor will share their ideas and suggestions of what has worked for them with regard to their career, management and leadership experience and they will provide you with support to apply it to your specific role and organisation.

Q: Who initiates first contact?
A: Either of you can but we suggest you get things started! If you have not heard from your mentor within seven days of contacting them, please try again. If you are still unsuccessful, please email us (taina@aspirewomen.co.uk) and we will help.

Q: What will be covered in the first mentoring session?
A: The mentoring relationship will be established first. You will get to know your mentor and establish trust and complete confidentiality on both sides. You will determine two or three specific areas that you want help with and you will set some goals for the six-month programme.

Q: I work for an organisation that benefits men and boys as well as women and girls. Are we still eligible to be part of the Aspire Foundation?
A: Yes! The Aspire Foundation does not wish to exclude organisations that work for the support and advancement of men and boys in addition to women and girls. As long as women and girls are included in your organisation's remit, you are eligible.

Q: What types of organisations are eligible to be part of the Aspire Foundation mentoring programme?
A: Charities and social enterprises that positively impact women and girls in some way.

Q: Does my organisation have to be based in a certain country?
A: No. The Aspire Foundation's work is global. All are welcome to participate, regardless of where your organisation is based or where the work you do takes place.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of people from my organisation who can apply to be mentored?
A: No, at present, there is no limit.

Q: Who from my charity or social enterprise can apply to be mentored?
A: Women from all levels can apply.

Q: Who are the mentors and where are they based?
A: The Aspire Foundation mentors are women and men, working in some of the world’s most well-known corporations or who have founded their own businesses. They are based all over the globe.

Q: Will my mentor be based in the same country as me?
A: We will make every effort to match you with a mentor who is based in the same country as you, so long as they are the most appropriate mentor available at the time. There may be cases in which mentors and mentees are based in different countries. If this happens and the two of you are finding it too difficult to arrange times to speak, we will make every effort to find you another mentor.

Q: Will I be able to select my mentor?
A: The Aspire Foundation will match you with the most appropriate mentor available based on your application and the mentor's experience, at the time. If some reason, you do not want to work with that mentor, just let us know and we will rematch you.

Q: What criteria does the matching process include?
A: We will match you with the most suitable mentor available based on your answers on your application, where you are based, the kind of work you do and the position you hold.

Q: How long will it take for me to be paired up with a mentor?
A: We aim to match mentors and mentees as soon as possible after we receive your application. We do appreciate your patience as we get this programme on its feet!

Q: How often to the mentoring calls take place and for what duration?
A: Mentoring calls take place once a month for one hour.

Q: Who schedules the calls?
A: It is up to the mentee to get in touch with their assigned mentor (we will provide you with contact details via the email address you provided on your application) and to find a mutually convenient time for the calls.

Q: How soon should I get in touch with my mentor?
A: You should aim to have your first call within one month of receiving your mentor's details.

Q: Am I permitted to meet with my mentor face-to-face?
A: Yes. It is entirely up to you and your mentor how you want the mentoring process to happen. The initial commitment is for phone calls once a month for six months. However, it is up to the two of you to decide if you wish to continue and in what capacity.

Q: Who pays for the calls?
A: Mentees (or their organisations) are responsible for covering the cost of the calls—the only cost associated with this programme.

Q: Can my mentor and I use Skype instead of the phone?
A: Yes. It is up to you and your mentor to decide which communication medium is most convenient for both of you.

Q: Once the six months initial commitment is over, am I under any obligation to continue?
A: No. There is no commitment required beyond the initial six months.

Q: Can I extend my mentoring beyond the initial six months?
A: This is entirely up to you and your mentor. If you both agree to do so, you can continue the relationship for as long as you wish.

Q: Am I able to change mentors?
A: Yes. If the relationship is not working out for whatever reason, you do have the option of changing mentors. However, once you have made the decision to change, you will have to rejoin the pool of mentees waiting for matches.

Q: What if I want to terminate my mentoring before the initial six months is over?
A: If, for any reason, you do not wish to continue with your mentoring, please let us know as soon as possible and we will get in touch with your mentor to inform them.

Q: Who is responsible for the success of my mentoring?
A: Although we will strive to pair you with the most suitable mentor possible, it is up to you and your mentor to ensure that a mutually satisfactory relationship is achieved. The Aspire Foundation is not responsible for the success of this arrangement.

Q: Is this a one-off offer?
A: No. The Aspire Foundation mentoring programme is a rolling admissions process. We are matching mentors and mentees all the time. Please do apply when you can and we will match you with an appropriate mentor as soon as one is available.

Q: Can I have another mentor after my six months with my first mentor?
A: Yes. Please let us know after the six months is complete if you would like to continue with a new mentor.

Q: How does the Aspire Foundation measure its success?
A: We will require that you give feedback at the six month completion.

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