Law and Women Mentoring Programme – 2019
The Law and Women Mentoring programme aims to promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion by supporting female solicitors to advance their careers
The success of the programme depends on the number of available mentors and we are currently seeking to recruit solicitors with over 15 years PQE, who would like to support a more junior colleague. Both male and female mentors are welcome.
How it works
Applicants will be invited to take part in training in best practice mentoring techniques. Training will take place in Blackhall Place and will be eligible for CPD points. Following this, mentors will be matched with a suitable partner.
Once matched, mentoring partners generally commit to meet once a month over the course of the year. During this time, they will have the opportunity to meet other participants at networking events.
If you would like to register your interest as a mentor, please contact Mary Roche.
Testimonial - Audrey O’Sullivan
Audrey acts as General Counsel at SIRO Limited, a new JV technology company owned by Vodafone and ESB. She originally qualified as a solicitor with McCann FitzGerald solicitors and has worked with BT and WorldPay and the public sector.
To help potential mentors get a sense of what involvement with the programme entails, she kindly agreed to answer some questions about her experience.
- What are you trying to achieve with your involvement in this programme? I think it is important to give something back. I was very fortunate to have some great mentors as I progressed through my legal career and therefore, I feel it is time for me to share some of that great advice and experience I received and learned along the way.
- What are the challenges and the rewards? One of the challenges is the commitment in time where we all have very busy lives. And, there has to be firm commitment and regular meetings. But making time and effort is always worth it. It is really great to share experience, help with perspective and see that my experience as a mentor can really help a colleague and improve the quality of their working life and experience in practice.
- How has being involved helped on your own career path? The mentoring programme has helped me learn about my mentoring style and skills and given me insight into other skills that I can share. (i.e. the value of being super organised and of networking / reaching out to the right people who can help). It has also helped me to think about how legal professional practice can be represented more effectively in the corporate / business environment.
- What skillsets are necessary? It is very important to listen well and understand what the mentee is seeking to achieve from the sessions. It is good to agree some outcomes and next steps to make some tangible changes It is also important to have empathy. We do not always know immediately, what it is that we want, other than that we need to make some changes. This exploration is a process that takes time and discussion. Confidentiality is vital. People are putting their trust in you and vice versa.
- Why should a person seek a mentor or mentee? A person can seek a mentor if they are trying to address a specific issue which they find difficult. Having a confidential sounding board with a lot of experience, is enormously helpful. It can help you to explore the challenges you are having and why they may be proving difficult at a particular point in time. It is also valuable to get feedback (and challenge ourselves) and see your performance from another angle or prism and what we can learn. I constantly learn from my mentees and they always challenge me to be better at what I do as well as be a legal practitioner!
- Do you have any final comments? I think it is helpful if both mentor and mentee are ‘open’ to how things evolve in the process. There are no right or wrong answers. Only support.