Staying connected

In 2020, most staff and students at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute were working remotely due to the lockdowns in Melbourne. To help them maintain regular interpersonal contact, Baker’s Gender Equity and Diversity Committee developed an online mentoring program in collaboration with the Research and Training Committee.

Designing the program

Mentors (Lab Heads) were matched with their mentee (a PhD student or postdoc) based on the information provided by both parties in an online survey. All Lab Heads were expected to participate. Prior to meeting, mentors and mentees received separate group training on strategies for establishing a successful mentoring relationship. The training, provided by leading organisational development consultant Linda Betts, included break-out sessions in which mentors and mentees undertook role reversal.

Positive impact

The Institute is still collating the feedback from the program, but so far, informal comments from the participants indicate that mentees found these regular Zoom meetings very rewarding.