What is the Lotus STEMM Mentorship Program?
The Mentorship program is a space for young South Asian girls to find encouragement to explore the various aspects of STEMM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). We pair mentees with mentors based on their interests and their goals. We are growing our mentorship network exponentially having both mentors and mentees wanting to return to share their knowledge and experiences in future cycles.
Artwork credit: Soma Ghosh
Why is mentorship important?
Research has shown that mentorship significantly increases the number of women in STEM, decreasing the gender disparity in STEMM, especially within minority communities. Mentorship provides both mentor and mentee an opportunity to further develop their skills and help them grow for future opportunities. At the start of the mentorship cycle, mentees are required to brainstorm and determine their S.M.A.R.T. goals and what tools and resources they would need to achieve them. Through mentoring, young girls are exposed to women in several careers which encourages them further to pursue STEMM.
What is the gender disparity in STEMM?
South Asian women have highest unemployment rates in STEMM fields compared to other visible minorities and women of colour. StatsCan, 2016 Census
Unemployment rates in STEMM fields (StatsCan 2016 Census)
The gender gap in STEMM has been an ongoing problem for decades. Young women and girls see less women pursuing STEMM fields having fewer role models at university and the workforce. The consequence of this disparity is high unemployment rates amongst women in all aspects of STEMM fields (see graph above). We often gravitate towards people who share our values, principles and cultural nuances. Similarly, the lack of female role models in STEMM, particularly from minority communities, discourage young girls from pursuing STEMM career paths.
Mentorship is the key to bridging that gap.
What to expect?
This is a global program, open to anyone who identifies with the message that young South Asian girls and non-binary youth need to see more representation in STEMM fields. Mentors and Mentees can expect to commit a minimum of 2 hours/month meeting time, with extra time as needed for goal setting and accomplishing. During the course of the 6 month program, mentors and mentees are expected to submit their S.M.A.R.T goals to the Lotus STEMM team along with 2 written check-ins. Over the course of the 6 month period, mentors and mentees are invited to networking sessions organized by the Lotus STEMM team.
Minimum 1 year experience in STEMM field
Must be 16 years or older
One-on-one online meetings
With minimum 2 hours/month one-on-one mentor/mentee interactions, the pair communicate with one another to develop a trusting relationship in 6 months.
Dyad culturally informed relationship
With one-on-one meetings, mentors and mentees get an opportunity to learn from one another, while also having an underlying understanding of cultural nuances.
Develop S.M.A.R.T Goals
Mentors & mentees learn about S.M.A.R.T goals: how to develop them, and how to achieve them through networking and resources.
Investing in your future
Mentoring is beneficial for both mentors and mentees, helping them develop their confidence, skillsets, networking, and much more!
The program has been very helpful, especially talking to my mentor and the founder during such stressful times.