What Are CheMentoring Circles?
CheMentoring Circles (CMCs) are modeled on research from academic and professional institutions about effective mentoring techniques, with the purpose of cultivating a supportive, honest, and confidential environment for the participants. The overall facilitation by Women in Chemical Engineering is meant to encourage successful and meaningful mentorship meetings to find solutions, build networks, and organically develop long-term relationships among Chemical Engineering students and graduates.
What Happens During a Meeting?
In your mentoring circle meetings, each member will be given an allotted time frame to discuss their needs within the meeting topic, decided on by the group members in a previous meeting. Some meetings will be workshop-like, e.g. for resume development, personal statement help, etc. Others might be more about helping each other find solutions and resources for better work-life balance. The guidelines WChE provides are only suggestions; feel free to structure your meetings to attend to the group’s collective needs. At the end of the meeting, the group determines their next meeting time and place, if it is not already scheduled. Be creative! Meetings can take place at a coffee shop, or can be a walk through the Burke-Gilman Trail.
Guidelines and Expectations
CheMentoring Circles are meant to be a safe place for members to experience support and positivity.
Participants should refrain from issuing judgemental statements.
It is important to listen when a member ‘has the floor’ without interjecting your own stories/opinions.
In the case of a conflict, members can opt to be rotated to another group at any time.
Members must commit to the following:
Confidentiality. Everything said and heard in the CMC must remain confidential to create group trust. Put any competition aside.
Honesty. Individuals will be honest in presenting their own issues and give honest feedback with care.
Commitment. Individuals are committed to meeting regularly and actively participating in the CMC.
Listening. Participants will listen attentively in order to reflect what is being expressed and create mechanisms for individuals to find their own workable solutions
Each member is responsible for helping to run the meetings, time the rotation of each member’s speaking time, take notes, and archive meeting minutes. Whether you choose someone to facilitate, or rotate as a group, remember it is helpful to share leadership roles, as the groups are meant to be peer-led. Each member should take an active role in being a mentor and a mentee.
Interested in joining a CMC? Fill out the form below. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions!