Mentoring women in mathematics
Women in science are significantly underrepresented. Female researchers in mathematics (as well as in other STEM fields) are underrepresented among their peers in most countries and on most career levels.The fact that the proportion of women decreases when moving to higher qualification levels and career stages is called the “leaky pipeline“ effect.
We want to counteract the leaky pipeline with mentoring programs for female mathematicians working in academia. We aim at providing women in mathematics with female mentors who can serve as their role models, support and encourage them, so that ultimately less female researchers drop out of the leaky pipeline.
We understand mentoring as a relationship based on an agreement among partners, which offers continuous and dynamic feedback among the partners, establishes a relationship through which an individual shares knowledge, skills, and information. It aims to foster the personal and professional growth of the mentee and does not exclude reverse mentoring.
We offer professional trainings for (prospective) mentors. Our focus is on mentoring for women in mathematics (and other sciences). The interactive mentoring trainings aim at preparing its participants for their future role as mentors. More specifically, the goals of the training are
- to analyze the necessity of mentoring and its role in promoting woman in math,
- to clarify the role of a mentor, the limits of a mentoring relationships, and to identify contact points for further help,
- to train participants in active listening and prepare them to adequately respond to their mentees,
- to specifically prepare the mentors for the first meeting with their mentees, and
- to transmit the core values of mentoring.
After the training ends, participants are not left alone in their new roles as mentors or potentially disseminators of the mentoring idea. As a follow-up to the training, we also offer individualized advice for anyone who sets out to launch or promote a mentoring program at their institution.
We offer extensive materials for mentoring – free of charge and under a Creative Commons License. The materials include:
- a practical guide to implementing a mentoring program for women in mathematics,
- templates for promoting, administrating, and evaluating the mentoring program,
- a detailed description of the different modules of the mentoring training,
- the necessary materials for the mentoring training.
We encourage anyone to use these materials at their discretion and to modify and adjust them to different settings as they seem fit.