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Mentoring in Lotus STEMM

Mentoring in Lotus STEMM is a winner of a 2020 Cross-Pollination Grant

What is "Mentoring in Lotus STEMM" and how will it fill important gaps in opportunities and services being provided within STEM?

The mentorship program within Lotus STEMM is geared towards connecting women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) professions to younger women and girls, primarily of South Asian descent. Incorporating mentorship within the organization is key to building strong membership and reigniting interest and awareness of STEMM among students and parents. Lotus STEMM’s goal of increasing South Asian presence in the STEMM community is aligned with increasing women and minority representation in STEMM careers. Several organizations have implemented innovative strategies to encourage young women to pursue STEMM careers. We believe the best way to support interest among young girls is to pair them up with mentors from a diverse pool of professions who can provide anecdotes and assist them on a variety of topics like choosing appropriate courses for STEMM fields, editing resumes and cover letters, assisting in thesis defense preparations etc. We would also incorporate career change support to new women immigrants, international students, and provide them with the necessary resources to have a smooth career transition. 

How have the members of the community that will be served by "Mentoring in Lotus STEMM" been involved in building this proposal?

South Asian women are at the core of this mentorship program. Lotus STEMM is active on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, where the program has been advertised. We would promote this at various social engagements and events hosted. We will also spread this program through volunteers already involved to tap into existing network connections.

What progress has already been made?

The first round of the mentorship program started in January 2020. In preparation, the mentors and mentees were provided packages by Lotus STEMM, which included an explanation of dyad mentorship, goals setting worksheets, and question banks. The first round included 12 mentors from Singapore, Netherlands, India, Pakistan, USA and Canada; and 15 mentees from India, England, Netherlands, and Canada. The mentees are at varying stages of their educational career ranging from high school to PhD students. These mentees were paired with a primary mentor based on their career aspirations and in some cases a secondary mentor to provide a diverse opinion. Each person attended a mandatory introductory webinar on mentorship and how to use Slack. A free Slack workspace has been created for mentors and mentees to communicate with one another. Since the induction, mentor and mentees have been in conversation with one another through direct messaging on Slack.

Where can we find more about your community efforts online?

You can find “Lotus STEMM” on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.