Government agencies, businesses and individuals across the world joined in to celebrate in an overwhelming response to this year’s National Mentoring Day (on 27th October) to raise awareness and celebrate the benefits of mentoring.
The initiative aims to educate, inspire, connect and support mentoring to effect positive change throughout the world. Throughout the year it continues to shine a spotlight on mentors and mentoring initiatives making a difference. National Mentoring Day was inaugurated in the House of Lords, Parliament in England to recognise the invaluable contribution of mentorship in business, education and society with Lord Young as the founding patron.
The global initiative was founded by Chelsey Baker to support all forms of mentoring. Chelsey says, “We urgently need to embrace mentoring for all. Everyone has life skills and experience to share as a mentor. One word, one hour can be all that’s needed to effect a positive change in someone.” Everyone is encouraged to mentor someone. Organisations and businesses are asked to create their own mentoring event or activity on the day and thank mentors for the great work they do.
Chelsey is regarded as one of the UK’s most prominent business mentors where she has mentored hundreds of businesses, individuals and worked on leading government mentoring projects. She is the recipient of notable awards for her contribution to society, including the British Bankers’ Association’s “Excellence in Enterprise Mentoring Award” at BAFTA and ‘Influential Woman of the Year.’
This year saw a huge increase in businesses and organisations giving back. Support came in far and wide on the hashtag #nationalmentoringday. Companies from all over the world created mentoring initiatives which were launched to coincide with the day. In the U.S. ProMazo launched a free app to connect 100,000 students with 100,000 mentors to support those being left behind during the pandemic. The Pentagon awarded $3 million to the University of Illinois Chicago to create an undergraduate STEM mentoring program.
In the UK, over 100 Members of Parliament pledged to ‘Give an Hour’ of their time to mentor a young person through The Diana Award charity. Tessy Ojo CBE, CEO of The Diana Award said: “We were delighted with the overwhelming response from MP’s to support youth mentoring.” A further National Mentoring Day workshop and virtual celebration event took place in partnership with the Diana Award. Speakers included Lord Dr Michael Hastings, (Chancellor Regents University, Vice President of UNICEF, formerly Global head of Citizenship at KPMG International and head of CSR at the BBC) Tessy Ojo CBE (CEO Diana Award) David Shapiro (USA – CEO The National Mentoring Partnership), Chelsey Baker (CEO National Mentoring Day) Charlotte Kirby (VP Global Strategic Relations, Salesforce.)
Google in partnership with Digital Boost, committed to providing 10,000 hours of free mentoring to small business owners and charities in the UK. Banking group NatWest in partnership with Be the Business launched a free mentoring service in response to findings that show female business owners are at a disadvantage. Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee teamed up with Ronel Lehmann CEO of Finito to launch their #LegUp mentoring campaign which asks those in employment to help mentor one person who is unemployed back in to work.
Worldwide virtual events took place in English, Spanish and Arabic, organised in partnership with Viola Edward (Cyprus) founder of Grit Academy. Chelsey shared her mentoring mission, passion and insight to encourage global participation in mentoring as a way to make society more inclusive and to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Top leaders from education, sustainability, leadership and the caring economy joined in to discuss best practices and connect mentoring initiatives around the world. Viola Edward said, we organised the virtual events so, “No one is left behind, everybody can have a mentor.”
Speakers included Amal Daraghmeh Masri (Palestine), Saskia Harkema (Holland), Laura Giadorou Koch(USA), Harpreet Kang (India), Jessica J. Lockhart (Panama), Saadet Ozdemir, (Turkey), Ghada Hammouda(Egypt), Shirin Elias Ghanadry, Miriam J. Senft (USA), Dr Haidi Badawi, (Australia), Prof. Ona C. Miller, (USA), Winky Singh, (India), D Munish Jindal (India), Dr Nancy Juneja, (India), Teresa Egana (Venezuela), Paqui Garcia, (Spain) and Laura Garcia (Argentina).
Chelsey closes by saying, “The impact of National Mentoring Day will make a huge difference to peoples’ lives and to wider society. Mentoring means ‘making a difference which is why I have made it my life’s mission to make mentoring accessible to everyone of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds. Mentoring is a way to create a more inclusive society and has the potential to trigger significant benefits on a global scale and National Mentoring Day will make this happen.”
The initiative will carry on throughout the year to inspire, promote, connect and support mentoring. “We all need help in this world. Mentoring gives a sense of purpose to both parties, it’s not only good for business but also good for the soul!”
Event Date for your diary – 27th October 2021. Don’t wait until then to explore mentorship. Start planning now to be a mentor, find a mentor or recruit mentors. If you’re organisation doesn’t have a mentoring program in place then consider launching one to showcase your organizations commitment to investing in people. Why? Because Mentoring Matters.