Next in our mentors/mentees blog series sharing stories from FoL’s leaders programme mentoring is Director of Customer Operations at Gateway Housing Jackie Fearon. Find out more about the series, Mentor Awards and the #Alumni500 celebration here.
I’ve been a mentor for about 18 months with participants of FoL’s leaders course, a programme that Gateway has been heavily involved with and contributes to our work as a diversity pioneer.
I’ve also been working in housing and related fields for over 30 years, and a huge part of my motivation is providing support in a way that I may not have experienced in the earlier years of my career. Particularly when managing for the first time or sometimes just being able to seek out that ‘safe’ space (and person) to talk about challenges and solutions.
“A key talking point is always the [Proposal for London] ‘project’ at the end of the programme, and I have nothing but admiration for the preparation and courage people display.”
I’ve mentored two very different people, and the commitment, ambition, honesty and organisation both displayed have really impressed me. The FoL programme content seemed to motivate them hugely, as was the opportunity to meet peers and start to consider the type of manager they were, their strengths and weaknesses, and thoughts about career progression.
They were very honest with me, and I’ve definitely benefitted from being able to provide support for them in a small way. But I also better understand some of the challenges they face in the current work environment that I may not have experienced in a while.
A key talking point is always the ‘project’ at the end of the programme, and I have nothing but admiration for the preparation and courage people display. It’s not easy and at least one of my mentees really found it a challenge, but persevered and produced a great idea and presentation. Having watched these sessions a couple of times now, it’s been quite inspiring to hear the various ideas put forward, and I always look out for them in the future!
And finally….Covid has of course meant face-to-face meets haven’t been possible, but moving online has been relatively seamless in my experience. I look forward to being able to balance the virtual and reality, and meet and visit any future mentees in person.
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FoL’s Mentor Awards are sponsored by Lovell.