Why Mentors Matter


Engagement and Advancement Advisory
Body and Council Subgroup





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The Academy is proposing to pilot
a mentoring programme for medical
scientist members.
While mentoring initiatives do not exist everywhere, they are
becoming more common. When effective, such programmes
can provide valuable support for new or established
scientists while also establishing an open, inviting
workplace culture where people feel empowered to put
their best foot forward.

What is mentoring?
“Mentoring is a voluntary arrangement whereby an
experienced individual, outside the reporting relationship,
holds regular meetings and discussions and takes a
personal interest in guiding and supporting the development
of a less experienced person in progressing within and
beyond their immediate role” (Hale, R. 2000)
The use of the term and image of mentor, in modern times is a
sign of the importance placed on imparting wisdom in relation
to an individual’s education. Collaboration between two
individuals rather than a one way transaction is essential to the
role of mentoring:
One of the most important things for mentors is to
realise that mentees come with a variety of experience and
expectations about teaching. The role of the mentor is not to
foster an emulation of self but to encourage independence,
reflection and acquisition of the mentee’s professional style.
The rewards for mentoring are also multiple, alongside the
fact that mentors share their professional experience as well
as gaining valuable help, it is important to remember that
mentoring is also about mutual learning that can enrich both

What do mentors do?
At a glance, it might seem like all a mentor does is take a
mentee out for a cup of coffee or lunch once a week. And
while this simple action can go a long way in helping an
employee feel cared for by an organization, it’s really the bare
bones minimum of a mentor’s duties.
Good mentors mainly consists of supporting the mentee’s
developmental activities, challenging them to develop
professionally and personally and helping them to formulate
their professional vision. In the workplace mentors are typically
managers, supervisors from within the organisation or outside.

The benefits of a mentor programme
Most traditional workplace mentoring relationships involve
senior employees helping guide the personal and professional
growth of more junior colleagues. But age and organisational
hierarchy aren’t necessarily the most important factors in
today’s increasingly multigenerational workforce.
It’s more important that mentors have experience that can
help others learn. This could involve younger employees
sharing their expertise with evolving technological tools and

trends with older colleagues who may not be as familiar with
new developments in their discipline. Mentors can also learn
from the mentees they are helping to guide, so it really is a
mutually beneficial relationship.
Mentoring programmes, by nature, encourage a healthy
amount of goal setting. Many formal programmes actually ask
mentors and mentees to establish objectives when they first
begin meeting. This is significant, because 93% of surveyed
workers believe that setting goals is important to their work
performance. There are other benefits an effective mentorship
experience can yield as well. An analysis examining the
career outcomes of employees who participated in mentoring
programmes found that respondents experienced:
• Higher compensation
• More opportunities for advancement/promotions
• Increased satisfaction in their careers

Some evidence suggests that 91% of workers who have
a mentor are satisfied with their jobs. That portion drops
significantly among those who don’t have a mentor — more
than 40% of employees without this type of role model have
considered quitting in the last three months. Mentored
employees also tend to feel more positively about their
organisations as a whole. They’re far less likely to quit their
jobs. In fact, a recent study found that the retention rate
for mentees was 72%. The corresponding rate for nonparticipants
was just 49%.
Benefits are not limited to mentees — mentors surveyed in
that same study experienced a 69% retention rate. Employees
who serve as mentors also report greater job satisfaction and
greater career success.
It is also true that mentoring programmes have a positive
track record for enhancing the effectiveness of diversity
efforts within some organisations. According to a study from
Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labour Relations,
participation has been found to boost minority representation
at the management level by 9-24%, compared to 2-18%
percent with other diversity initiatives.
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What is Mentoring in the Workplace?
Mentoring in the workplace is an established partnership
between colleagues for the purposes of learning and growth.
Having a mentor at work can traditionally be seen as
senior and more experienced employees giving advice and
support to younger employees earlier on in their careers.
This dynamic is known as ‘informal mentoring’, as it often
comes about from the mentor taking a liking to the mentee
and taking them ‘under their wing’, rather than a formalised
There is a lot to be said for informal mentoring, and many
successful people refer to these kinds of relationships as
helping them get to where they are today.
However, the potential problem with informal mentoring
is that it may tend towards being exclusive and elitist, with
people choosing to mentor individuals they see themselves
in (and thereby not doing anything to encourage diversity in
the process).
These kinds of relationships are also down to sheer luck
a lot of the time. How many successful entrepreneurs have
you heard say they were “in the right place at the right time”
when they met a crucial person who took a chance on them?
As a result of these biases, mentoring in the workplace
needs to be established on a formal mentoring basis in
order to give employees equal opportunity to develop.
As shown in the numerous studies into the positive effects
of mentoring in the workplace, it’s one of the simplest things
organisations can do to keep their employees engaged,
productive and motivated.

Benefits of Mentoring in the Workplace
Mentoring comes with a whole host of benefits throughout
organisations, from personal development, to mental health,
to employee retention.

Benefits to the Mentee
Those with mentors at work will benefit from an increase in:
Job satisfaction
Likelihood of promotion
Loyalty to their company
Fulfilment at work
It has been reported that 89% of those who have been
mentored will also go on to mentor others, and so contribute
to this cycle of learning and development within an

Benefits to the Mentor
There are also many positive benefits for those doing the
mentoring. With studies having shown an increase in:
Communication skills
Job satisfaction
Loyalty to their company
Fulfilment at work
Harvard Business Review conducted a study researching
the positive effects mentoring can have on the mentors
themselves, and found that that people who served as

mentors experienced lower levels of anxiety, and described
their job as more meaningful, than those who did not mentor.
The Academy is preparing to initiate a formal mentoring
programme as a pilot scheme in the first instance and
wishes to hear from potential mentors.

Mentor Requirements

1) Professional Qualification
Recognised degree with relevant experience will be

2) CORU Registration
CORU State Registered Medical Scientist

3) Academy Membership
Valid Academy membership number required

4) Knowledge and Experience:
Mentor candidates must have in-depth knowledge and
experience in the area in which they wish to mentor in
and be in good professional standing. It would also be
expected that each candidate actively participates in
various CPD activities. This is dependent on the career
stage of the mentor, both advanced and early career
mentors are encouraged to apply.

The skills that an early mentor (<5 years working postqualification)
would be expected to include some of
the following; interview and job application experience,
the experience of attaining CORU registration, attaining
a postgraduate qualification, experience of having
completed training in their department, experience of
starting and participating in an out-hours service.

The skills that a more established mentor (>5 years
of experience) should include some of the following:
experience applying and interviewing for promotional
posts, experience of having attained ACSLM fellowship
for qualifications, have attained a postgraduate
qualification, are actively engaged in research, have
experience in interviewing and training staff, personnel
management, lab equipment and stock management,
quality and accreditation preparation.

The lists above are intended to be guidelines and
applicants are expected to have attained some of
the skills and experiences, not have all skills are not
grounds for excluding candidates.

5) Desirable Skills:
Enthusiasm for Medical Science
Willingness to Teach
Communication skills
Organisational skills
The Academy will provide training for mentors and expects
the programme to last up to six month.

Expression of Interest (EOI) form and Mentoring Guidelines are available on the CPD members tab
Queries to:

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