You are interested in the topic of mentoring programmes for women scientists and academics, spanning programme design, implementation, evaluation, and the lived experience of the mentees?

Let’s Hear Your Voices: Unlocking knowledge, experience, and good practice in inclusive mentoring for early career women in academia and research and innovation – a multi-stakeholder summer training event will take place from 8 to 11 July 2024 at Deusto University, Bilbao (Spain)

In response to the growing popularity of career mentoring programs for women in academia and research and innovation, the VOICES Summer Training event aims to bring together a diverse community to share insights, experiences, and best practices in inclusive mentoring.

Despite progress made in gender equality in academia and research and innovation, women remain disadvantaged as they hold more precarious contracts and have higher attrition rates on the way to permanent and senior positions. Women are also less likely to become innovators impacting on their long-term career development.

In response to this challenge, mentoring as a method for change has grown in popularity across in academia and research and innovation to prepare and provide women with the right skillset needed to advance in research careers. However, mentoring can vary dramatically between programmes, schemes, frameworks, access to qualified and experienced mentors, and mentoring relationships. Differences can also be present in evaluated success, quality of experience, inclusivity, and attention paid to intersectionality. This lack of consistency of effectiveness, quality and standards can contribute to unequal impacts among women researchers, (re)producing further disadvantage, and overemphasis on the deficit model, rather than nurturing institutional change for gender equality.

Our COST Action Voices summer training seeks to address this disparity by creating a platform
for knowledge, good practice and experience sharing, providing an opportunity to “think together” about what a quality and authentic mentorship should look like, as well as informal VOICES WG1 Summer training networking opportunities. It aims to do so by involving and connecting a multitude of key stakeholders close to mentoring programmes, such as mentors, mentees, and mentoring programme designers tasked with design, implementation and evaluation.

1. Inspire and Share Knowledge:
• Showcase case studies and exemplary approaches in mentoring.
• Provide insights into what quality and authentic mentorship should entail.

2. Empower Early Career Mentees:
• Amplify voices of early career mentees, allowing them to share experiences and suggest improvements.
• Sensitize mentoring programs to intersectionality and inclusion.

3. Address Challenges and Propose Solutions:
• Co-create good practice recommendations for mentoring programs.
• Share recommendations with policymakers and practitioners.

4. Facilitate Networking and Mentorship Opportunities:
• Enable informal networking opportunities.
• Conduct career-building sessions for early career researchers.

Target Audience: Stakeholders involved in designing, implementing, and evaluating mentoring
programs, including equality officers, career development professionals, mentors, mentees,
and representatives from research funders, institutions, and NGOs.

• Date: 8-11 July 2024
• Venue: Deusto University, Bilbao
• Application deadline: application should be sent till 31 March 2024

Application form :