Formal Mentoring Program
2023 WTS-Boston Formal Mentoring Program
Now accepting applications for mentors and mentees!
The WTS-Boston Mentoring Program will be starting in January 2023. This program will match seasoned leaders in the transportation industry with emerging professionals in mentor-mentee pairs for a six-month program.
Why is this program needed?
WTS International’s mission is to provide access and equity for all woman-identifying people in transportation. At its core, across all chapters, WTS provides professional development opportunities for its members, offering encouragement and recognition to support the advancement of rising professionals as they grow in their careers. Mentoring is cited as both a specific goal area for WTS International and as one of its six guiding principles (for WTS to help shape future generations of transportation leaders).
This formal chapter mentoring program for WTS-Boston will provide the opportunity for emerging professionals to access more experienced professionals in the industry, providing them with insights that could have a lasting and tangible effect on their careers. Mentors in turn benefit from sharing career success stories with future leaders, building long-term relationships, and giving back to an industry that helped them in previous years.
Is the program only open to women?
No. In fact, this program will be most successful if it solicits active participation from anyone regardless of gender identity as both mentors and mentees. Why is that? In Boston, we have some fabulous women leaders and wish to counter a dynamic that would say only women learn from women. We can all learn from everyone, regardless of gender identity! Furthermore, we are fortunate to have incredible leaders of all gender identities in Boston who are WTS members and supporters, with invaluable lessons to share with emerging professionals. Mentors and mentees will be paired based on preferences, as identified during our initial group event where each mentee will have a brief period to talk with each mentor.
What does participation look like?
Participation is easy and fulfilling. There are two components: mentor-mentee meetings (one-on-one) and group professional development sessions with all mentor-mentee pairs. We plan to host monthly professional development sessions between January and June 2023, with one facilitated group event each month. Events will be structured around topics with invited speakers. Possible topics, to be selected by group preferences, include:
- Diversity and inclusion
- Interview mini-workshop
- To family or not to family
- Having difficult conversations
- Managing up
- Working with different personalities
- Company culture and why it matters
- Developing your personal brand
Mentors and mentees are asked to attend all mentoring events together if possible. They are also asked to get together once a month (or more if they wish) informally one-on-one or as small groups outside the formal mentoring events. Mentors are encouraged to meet up with their mentees at WTS-Boston events and to introduce them to other people in the transportation field. Above all, mentors are expected to act as a resource. They are asked to provide guidance and to answer mentees’ questions honestly and sincerely. Mentor/mentee conversations revolve around identifying and taking advantage of opportunities. A mentor should be willing to answer the questions: What is your success story? What challenges did you face? How did you overcome adversity?
Who is eligible?
For mentors: all are welcome to apply to this WTS-Boston Formal Mentoring Program as a mentor regardless of membership status.
How do I apply and what are the next steps?
The application provides the first step in matching mentors with mentees by asking participants several questions about what they hope to get out of the program and their preferred method of communication. Mentors will meet prospective mentees at the first Mentoring Event, and both mentors and mentees will provide preferences following that meeting. Mentors and mentees will be matched by the WTS-Boston Mentoring Committee based on career background and interests, what mentors and mentees hope to get out of the program, and preferences on when to meet and how to communicate. Application requirements include:
Applications are due November 18, 2022.
Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
What Happens Next?
Participants will be selected based on the quality and completeness of their application. For mentees, preference will be given to members who are and/or have been active with WTS-Boston.
Accepted participants will be notified in late December and guidance materials will be sent out in advance of the kickoff event in January. Guidance material will include brief bios of participants, a schedule of events (including dates, times, topics, and speakers), and expectations. At the kickoff event in January, mentors and mentees will meet and talk with each other about meeting preferences. We will ask participants to set their own realistic schedule. Participants will determine:
- How they will meet, whether in-person, by phone, or through video chat
- How often they will meet (at least once a month) and how long meetings will last
- Their goals for the program