A mentor/mentee pilot project | Infrastructure news

The WISA Gauteng Branch (WISA-GP) has launched the MentWorking Project in Gauteng. A combination between MENToring and networking, the project will connect water professionals of all ages and provide a platform where younger professionals can learn, and experienced professionals can help shape the future of the South African water sector.

Networking has always been core to WISA’s service offerings, and the results from the 2022 WISA Members Satisfaction Survey identified mentorship as the second most desired offering by WISA members.

Ultimately, the vision for the MentWorking Programme is that it be rolled out nationally as a matching service between prospective South African water sector mentors and mentees. However, the first step in realising this goal is the MentWorking Pilot Project, which consists of a select group of 20 hand-picked mentors who were manually matched with of mentees. The intention of trialling the programme at a small-scale is to gain insight into the feasibility of implementing the programme at a national scale, gauge the potential benefit such a programme might bring to the sector and individuals, as well as to understand the dynamics associated with the professional relationships that may be formed as part of such as programme.

Recently, WISA-GP held the WISA MentWorking Pilot Project launch event. The event was attended by mentors and mentees alike, many of whom got to meet each other in person for the first time and were able to learn more about the Pilot Project. Discussions were held on what each volunteer would like to gain from the programme, as well as stories shared of mentees’ long-term goals in the water sector and mentors’ career challenges and how they overcame these challenges. The event was met with enthusiasm from the participants, as conversations flowed, and meaningful connections were made. Participants indicated the importance of such a programme for all involved, not just for growing technical skill and increasing knowledge sharing, but also for focusing on soft-skill development and mutual sector support.

Over the course of three months, the volunteer participants will be engaging in a mentor / mentee relationship with mentoring pairs. They will be encouraged to meet regularly and to independently decide what form their mentoring engagement will take. Additional events will be organised by WISA-GP for the participants to share their feedback and lessons learnt. The experiences and results of this pilot project are being tracked and captured via monthly surveys and the results of the MentWorking pilot project will be shared with the rest of the sector at the WISA Conference 2024.

For more information on the MentWorking Programme, please email mentworkingprogramme@gmail.com.

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