About the Mentoring Program
From September onwards, the Mentoring Program at the Charité, now already successfully implemented on multiple occasions, is again requesting and sponsoring qualified and dedicated female academics for a period of twelve months who will be guided by individuals of high repute in research, business, academic administration, and clinical areas.
The program rests upon three essential pillars:
- working in tandem-mentoring in a more close-knit context
- various seminars and workshops that will be held in german (Participants need to understand enaugh german to be able to attend. Participants may talk in english in the seminars)
- as well as making connections outside of one's immediate discipline
An introductory workshop and a closing celebration will provide the overall setting for this program.
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Working in Tandem
Mentoring is based on a trans-hierarchical and cross-generational relationship between mentors and mentees in a tandem partnership.
The tasks of both mentors and mentees in the tandem relationship is to identify the personal goals of the mentees, develop strategies for action, and to discuss various options.
In more personal discussions mentors will offer help that mentees can use to help themselves. The individual conversations are a safe space in which the goals, motivations, and options of the mentees can be discussed.
Possible Topics in the Tandem Relationship
- some mentees seek the best possible contacts and content-related input to support their research endeavors
- some mentees wish primarily for feedback concerning informal knowledge about entering the profession, fundraising from external organizations, professional associations, publications, etc.
- some mentees seek role models and suggestions for compatibility between family life and career in university clinics
- some mentees would like to change their career specialization and are looking for insight into their new area of interest
- some mentees are new at the Charité and are interested in more colloquial knowledge about university structure, networks, and organizational culture at the Charité
- some mentees are already well acquainted with the Charité and would like to be more well connected and well positioned internationally
- some mentees are interested primarily in experience regarding the compatibility between research and clinical practice
- on the other hand, others would like to set up their own laboratory, working groups, etc. and are seeking mentors who can provide them with competent guidance and valuable experience
- some mentees are unsure if they would like to become professors and are looking for informal insight into the demands, burdens, but also opportunities and prospects that are connected to being a professor
- some mentees are interested in how others have handled the experience of failure in complex professional contexts
- on the other hand, other mentees seek honest feedback and assessment regarding their strengths and weaknesses
- some mentees are in interested in their mentor's wide range of experience concerning conflict with colleagues, employees, superiors, etc.
The success of the mentoring program is dependent to a large extent on finding the right match between mentors and mentees.
"Matching" refers to the composition of the tandem partnerships. The decision as to which mentee will be placed in a tandem partnership with which mentor depends upon the aims and interests of the mentees and the mentors. In an introductory workshop the mentees will develop the criteria for choosing their mentors based on their personal goals, and then contact with the mentors will be established.
Depending one's academic level, most of the seminars will address the following themes:
- Communication and Status (for example: How do I position myself in groups? In team meetings? How do I make my voice heard? How do I prevent behavior that encroaches on my space in communication? How do I react when someone tries to take me down a notch? How do I make my position clear? How do I make myself more visible?)
- Leadership (for example: management style, working in and with a team, conflict and transition management, agreement on goals and performance assessment, employee motivation, conversational skills with employees, gender issues in team leadership, etc.)
In every seminar, there will be plenty of room for addressing concrete issues from the group of participants.
The methodological and pedagogical organization of the seminar is structured around the interests of the participants. Roundtable discussions, expert talks, working groups, presentations, role-playing are all possible pedagogical methods.
The active participation of seminar attendees is expected in at least 75% of the events.
The networking meetings are often structured around the interests of the participants. For example, we will invite individuals from external funding agencies or professors who will talk about their own personal lives and career paths. Informational events will also be organized for such topics as the law which limits short-term academic appointments or the habilitation process at the Charité. Such networking meetings provide the opportunity for the mentees to get to know one another and to share experience about everyday life in the profession, about their tandem partnerships, about negotiating between family life and career, etc.
The networking meetings also provide the opportunity to meet previous mentees from within the Charité Mentoring Program or other mentoring programs, as well as to meet other engaged researchers at the Charité.
In particular, the format "Biography in Conversation" is the most frequent type of event within the networking meetings. In these evening events, women in leadership positions are invited to informal roundtable discussions with a glass of wine to talk about their career paths, successful strategies, dealing with the experience of failure, and the compatibility of family life and professional life, as well as answer any questions the mentees may have.