"Whenever I am asked what the missing link is between a promising businessperson and a successful one, mentoring comes to mind; if you are looking to make your way in business, try to find a mentor. If you are in a position to share the skills you have learned, give something back by becoming a mentor yourself.” CEO VIRGIN
In the private sector, mentorship programs have been proven successful in creating a new generation of leaders. The public sector learnt from these successes and copied them by organizing its own mentorship programs. Consequently, some parliaments followed suit by providing mentorship programs for incoming MPs or programs that allow people to shadow an MP in their daily functions to better understand the work of the Parliament and of that particular MP and their constituency, such as in the UK.
Given the complexity of a Parliament, candidates and first time Parliamentarians are keen to get advice from those who have previous experience with particular issues. Mentorship programs have been organized at national and regional levels. At the national level, Parliaments are exploring new ways of guiding young MPs through the complex structures of Parliament. At the regional level, Parliaments are providing mentorship projects, which go beyond the traditional study trip tours, through online networks and intensive collaboration between parliamentarians.
Q1: Have you ever been part of a mentorship program (as mentor or mentee)? If so, could you share your experiences?
Q2: Do you know of successful mentorship projects targeting women candidates and parliamentarians. Why were these projects successful?
Q3: Are ‘in-person’ meetings critical for a successful mentorship programme or could online mentoring be just as useful?