In 2014, the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad & Tobago (AMCHAM T&T) made its first commitment to commemorate International Women’s Day by hosting an event geared towards highlighting the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. AMCHAM T&T used this platform to advocate for gender parity in business and society.
This event has evolved into the annual Women’s Leadership Conference, and its evolution has seen the inclusion of men in the discussion on gender parity to ensure all contribute to the conversation and take one step closer to enacting lasting change. Based on participant feedback from these annual events, AMCHAM T&T realized that more support for women was needed in the arena of mentorship.
In 2017, AMCHAM T&T partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to create a pilot programme to provide mentorship to female professionals in four professional areas with low female representation. This was part of AMCHAM T&T’s effort to be part of the solution.
AMCHAM T&T in partnership with the IDB developed a mentoring programme to provide mentorship to female professionals mainly in the areas of Science & Mathematics, Technology, Engineering and Economics. In 2018, Occupational Health and Safety was incorporated as part of a continued commitment to adding value to the state of H.S.S.E in Trinidad & Tobago. In 2020, the programme was expanded to include women from all sectors and was facilitated entirely in the virtual space due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The year 2023, marks the sixth iteration of this programme that endeavors to drive female leadership in industry and commerce in Trinidad and Tobago. As we continue to adapt to the changes brought on the pandemic and head into the future of work, it is important now more than ever for women to have a seat at the table and continue to guide and encourage our women leaders of tomorrow.
Mentoring is a special partnership between two individuals based on commitment to the mentoring process, common goals and expectations, mutual trust and respect. This programme is based on the concept of Mutual Mentoring. This type of mentoring encourages and allows for the transfer of knowledge and skills between two individuals. Both the mentor and the mentee give and grow during the mentoring process.
The success of this programme will depend on both persons agreeing to clearly defined goals, roles and expectations. The achievement of these goals should be monitored, and each individual should engage in honest and respectful feedback.
The mentee will be required to develop an individual personal development plan in collaboration with your mentee/mentor and give a brief summary of your goals, style of interaction and achievement of these goals at the mid-programme check ins and at the end of the six-month programme.
Within a developmental mentoring relationship, a mentor is expected to:
* Share your knowledge and experience
* Listen actively with interest, holding the focus on the mentee’s agenda
* Manage the framework of the mentoring sessions, and encourage the mentee to take responsibility for the content
* Help the mentee to see the bigger and longer-term picture with respect to her professional development
* Take an interest in the mentee's progress
A mentee is expected to:
* Take responsibility for her development
* Fully commit to the programme by attending planned sessions, completing agreed upon actions.
* Maintain a professional relationship with the mentor.
* Maintain confidentiality of the information shared in their partnership.