Celebrating gold standard mentoring!

Our global, online Mentoring Women in Business programme has been awarded gold standard accreditation from the European Mentoring and Coaching Council! Mentoring programme manager Jetske van Dijk gives us the low-down…

After nearly a year of rigorous reviews and checks, we are delighted that not only has our flagship Mentoring Women in Business programme gained accreditation from the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), but the Council has also awarded the programme a gold standard award.

This award, the Council’s highest available accolade, was given after our Mentoring programme met an incredible 98% of the criteria set by the International Standards for Mentoring and Coaching Programmes (ISMCP).

This significant achievement means that our Mentoring programme meets ISMPC’s six core standards:

  1. Clarity of purpose: The programme has clearly defined objectives and intended outcomes, which are clear to all stakeholders. Participants are encouraged in developing their own purpose within the overarching context of the programme.
  2. Stakeholder training and briefing: Participants participate in a high standard training that teaches them about the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to successfully participate on the programme. Learning support is available throughout the programme.
  3. Process for selection and matching: The matching process ensures the match fits the programme and provides learning opportunities for participants. There is a process for recognising and unwinding matches where needed.
  4. Processes for measurement and review: There are robust measurement and review processes in place to evaluate mentoring relationships, the programme and strategic outcomes.
  5. Maintains high standard of ethics: The programme adheres to clear guidelines on the behaviour of all stakeholders, who have clearly defined roles and responsibilities.
  6. Administration and support: The programme is managed professionally. Participants receive high standard support and/or supervision throughout the programme.

In my view as Panel Chair, the Mentoring Programme is a wonderful example of the power of mentoring to transform lives and provide reciprocal benefits for both mentees and mentors.

Dr Julie Haddock-Millar, EMCC Global ISMCP WorkGroup Leader

We are incredibly proud of this fantastic recognition of our Mentoring Women in Business programme’s high standards and impact. Since 2011, the programme has supported over 5,000 women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries to grow and strengthen their businesses, and build their skills, confidence and knowledge, with enormous impact on mentees and mentors alike.

The programme also holds amazing benefits for our corporate partners, including PayPal, Bank of America, Salesforce, Marsh McLennan and Blackstone Charitable Foundation who contribute mentors from amongst their own workforces and reap the fantastic benefits of the professional development they gain through the programme. We thank them for their incredible involvement over the years, which has been instrumental in our achievement of this industry-leading status.

How did we apply for the accreditation, and what did our assessors think?

Over the course of 2021, we worked closely with an EMCC-appointed assessor to intensively reflect on the Mentoring programme and gather comprehensive evidence that the rigorous EMCC ISMCP accreditation criteria were met. Ana Olivera Pinto, EMCC Global Accreditation Assessor said that our programme “has given evidence that it has in place all the critical success factors required for a high standard and high-value mentoring programme. There is a commitment to best practice, excellency in service, and a high-quality programme”.

To gain further knowledge about the programme, the assessor also interviewed different stakeholders including our programme participants, our partners and our own CEO. We would like to thank Charlotte Pretty, Senior Social Impact Manager at Marsh McLennan, and programme participants Barbara Keitumetse Mashope-Potgieter, Miriam Meijers-van Maasdeijk, Omolara Oyenkunle and Angela Pace Fabiano for their contributions to this process.

Going through this exercise has enabled myself and the rest of the Mentoring team to take a moment to take stock and truly reflect on the nature and content of the programme in its entirety. This accreditation acknowledges the crucial role we play in upholding the high standards of programme delivery and service provision. I am incredibly proud to be part of the team delivering this life-changing programme, which has supported thousands of women entrepreneurs.

Going forward

As part of the application process to gain accreditation, the team reflected on all elements of the programme, its challenges and successes, and we are excited to use this deep knowledge to further inform our work in the coming months and years.

We will take into consideration the thoughtful recommendations which were shared in the assessment report, which will help us to continue strengthening the Mentoring programme.

We are also excited to continue to work with the EMCC, sharing our expertise, as part of their global community of mentoring experts.

I applaud the team on their dedication and hard work in meeting all the requirements of this rigorous assessment. I congratulate the Foundation for their achievements to date and their innovative use of technology to manage an extensive global network of mentors and mentees.

Hoang-Anh Thi Le, EMCC Global Accreditation Verifier