The policy column

Dhikshana Pering, Issue 117/05, p17, 01.05.2017
Mentoring
The Museums Association recently announced that it would be managing Mentoring for All, a pilot scheme that will run across England and Scotland from June to November. It is funded by Arts Council England and Museums Galleries Scotland and the aim is to make mentoring as accessible as possible, to as many people as possible.

Successful mentoring can be life changing – for mentors and mentees. But schemes that are not embedded fully in an organisation, where no clear guidance or support is given to either party, can be damaging, not only for the individuals involved. Poorly run schemes also prevent mentoring being recognised as an important way to develop a more effective workforce.

Mentoring does not have to be constrained within one organisation. In fact, developing mentoring across different types of organisations, nationally and internationally, as well as inside and outside of our sector, is crucial.

Traditionally, it involves those in senior positions mentoring down, but in new staffing structures, peer-to-peer and bottom-up mentoring can create interesting ways to share practice and to develop careers. Mentoring should be transactional – once you are a mentee and benefiting from guidance, support and new networks, you should pass this forward by becoming a mentor.

Dhikshana Pering is the learning officer: young people (18-25) at the London Transport Museum and a Museums Association board member

The MA’s Mentoring for All scheme will raise the profile of mentoring and will help to embed the practice more widely in the sector.

Comments

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Erin Slack
Curatorial Assistant (Natural Science), Tyne
04.05.2017, 13:53
I'm quite intrigued to hear more about this and how to get involved. I was asking about mentoring earlier today within TWAM as I think it would be quite useful for my own development and I'm sure I could teach senior staff a thing or two. It seems to be becoming a more common thing within other organisations and industries to some success.