Would you like to support a professional woman to get back to a fulfilling role after a career break?

By signing up as a volunteer Return to Work Mentor, you could make a big difference to a woman returner’s life. We’re looking for experienced UK professionals willing to give a few hours of their time to provide support and advice to Scottish women professionals who want to relaunch their careers.

The Career Boost Mentoring Programme is part of our Scottish Government-funded Career Boost Accelerator Programme, a free-of-charge support opportunity for Scottish women currently on career breaks of 6 months or more for childcare, eldercare, redundancy, health, relocation or other reason. Mentees will also benefit from a personalised range of free return to work coaching and training workshops.

Am I a suitable mentor?

We’re looking for supportive and encouraging individuals of any gender who meet the following criteria:

  • At least 10 years of professional experience
  • Currently employed in a professional role or recently retired
  • UK-based
  • Willing to share your own experiences

You don’t need to have prior mentoring experience or qualifications as we’ll provide you with training and support to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s great if you have had your own experience of time out of the workforce, but this is not necessary.

What is the commitment?

The Mentoring Programme will run up to March 2023, with sessions taking place virtually by phone, Zoom or other video platform. We aim to make the process as simple and time-effective as possible. As a Mentor you will:

  • Participate in a one-hour online group Mentor Training Session
  • Organise 2 or 3 one-hour online 1-2-1 Mentoring Meetings with your mentee
  • [Optional] Participate in monthly Mentor Check-in Sessions to share learnings and get support from Women Returners and fellow mentors
  • Provide feedback on the mentoring process via an online survey

What is return to work mentoring?

Mentoring is a professional partnership. Return to work mentoring involves providing one-to-one advice and support to an individual wanting to return to work after a career break for childcare, eldercare, relocation, redundancy, health or other reasons. Mentoring is a powerful way to inspire, inform and empower a returner to achieve their career objectives.

You will help your mentee to build their skills and confidence to identify and secure a rewarding role. You will share your own experience, knowledge and insights (including sector knowledge, if applicable), facilitating decision-making and acting as a source of encouragement as well as a confidential sounding-board.

You will agree objectives with your mentee at the outset. These could include:

  • How to be focused in a job search, clarifying goals and actions
  • How to build professional networks virtually and in person
  • How to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance
  • How to understand flexible working options, including new hybrid working models
  • How to rebuild professional confidence

What will you gain as a mentor?

Mentoring focuses on the goals of the mentee, but there are also benefits for mentors:

  • The satisfaction of helping a talented individual to achieve their objectives and rebuild their confidence
  • Development of your mentoring, leadership and communication skills
  • New perspectives to benefit your organisational role, including an awareness of return to work challenges
  • A feeling of making a difference and ‘giving back’

How can I sign up as a mentor?

  • Complete the short registration form here
  • Once we have confirmed that you meet the criteria above, we will contact you with further details on the mentor training and process
  • With any questions, email careerboost@womenreturners.com

If you are an employer who offers employer-supported volunteering, and who would like to explore including return to work mentoring as an option for your employees, please contact us on careerboost@womenreturners.com.

For further information on the broader Career Boost Scotland programme see here

The Women Returners Programme is funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Skills Development Scotland.