In the spotlight: BIG celebrates International Women's Day and our inspirational female mentors

In the spotlight: BIG celebrates International Women's Day and our inspirational female mentors

Published on: 
Monday, 9 March 2020

MUFG has been a long-standing partner of our Mentoring Works programme, which is designed to improve the support given to young people in education by working with business mentors to create a culture of employment in schools. The mentoring sessions cover topics such as presentation skills, interview practice and CV writing and provides students with a gateway to the corporate world. This year, 50 MUFG volunteers are mentoring 76 students from four schools across Islington.

In celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day, we sat down with one of our female mentors from MUFG, who mentors two female students from Highbury Fields School. We asked why it’s important for young women to have inspirational role models that they can relate and look up to. Read more below!

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself and why you signed up to be a mentor via Mentoring Works.
    Since I moved to the UK, I have been given a lot of support with regards to university and work opportunities, so I signed up to the mentoring programme so that I can give something back.
  2. Did you have an inspirational female role model growing up? If so, who was it and why did they inspire you?
    Growing up, my inspirational female role model (without even realising) was my mother. It was not so much that I aspired to become a Crane Operator in a steel working factory like my mother, but instead it was her independent spirit, drive and strong work ethic that inspired me. She didn’t rely on anyone for anything.
  3. How have you found mentoring your two students?
    I absolutely love the experience. Though I consider myself lucky mentoring my two girls, given that both of them are an absolute joy to be around, they are very conscientious and show lots of interest in the mentoring sessions. We have covered self-awareness exercises, lifestyle choices, presentations, CV-writing, interview practice and budgeting, in which both of them have actively participated. They both prepare the required material ahead of sessions and are not afraid to address topics that are not clear or that they do not understand.
  4. Why do you think it’s important for young women to have relatable role models to guide them in their career paths?
    For me I think that it’s so important for young women or young people in general to have a role model in their lives because these people provide so much guidance and raise the aspirations of these young people.Through mentoring, we often reinforce what parents and teachers have already told that young person. However, as a neutral adult who is not a family member, a teacher or a friend, as mentors sometimes our words hold more weight. I believe mentoring can increase a young person’s awareness of different opportunities they may not have even heard of, and of what may be required of them to achieve certain things in life.

If your business is interested in taking part in our mentoring programme, please contact Ayesha Begum from our Education team: ayesha.begum@thebigalliance.org.uk.