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News - 13 May 2008

Mentoring project celebrates success

The South East Women's Mentoring Network celebrated its success at a recent conference held at Kempton Park.

The project run by Business Link (Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire) and co-financed by the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) and the European Social Fund (ESF), aimed to provide training and mentoring support designed to help career progression to women in management who are struggling to climb higher up the career ladder.

The project, launched in May 2007 met its target to recruit 50 mentors and 100 women mentees and feedback from the end of project conference at Kempton Park indicates that the South East Women's Mentoring Network (SEWMN) was a real success.

External evaluation conducted by consultant Richard White shows that 70% of mentees and 50% of mentors reported increased confidence as a result of the project and 90% of mentees and 58% of mentors reported increased confidence to achieve career goals.

40% of mentees and 17% of mentors said that they now have a better work/life balance and 80% of mentees and 25% of mentors said they felt that they had greater control of their careers as a direct result of the SEWMN.

Although funding for the project has come to an end many of the mentees and mentors plan to continue their mentoring relationships as they have proved to be so beneficial. 

Karen Smith who looked to her mentor, Kiki Maurey, for support and tactical advice after being promoted from a support role to a management position said: "I believe I have really gained the trust and respect of my team and management thanks to mentoring.  I will definitely be continuing my relationship with Kiki as the benefits are so powerful for both me and the company."

Brighton & Hove Economic Partnership was a member of the project's steering group.

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