She guides the program’s mentors, showing them how to manage the mentees to succeed in a challenging sporting environment.
“A good mentor is committed to helping their mentee grow and find success. Empowering the mentee to develop their own strengths and skills, as opposed to having a directive approach and potentially leading the mentee to a particular conclusion. From a personal perspective mentoring in this formal approach hasn’t come easy to me and as a program we have run training sessions to assist mentors with the tools needed to mentor effectively, particularly professional sailors who, like me have little or no experience in this field yet have a passion and desire to help others.
10% of the mentors are male
Currently close to 10% of our mentors are male, and we really value them championing women in sailing, this has happened organically. Many of our mentees request female mentors to be able to see a future version of themselves, however being able to tap into a diverse gender pool of mentors with a variety of skill sets is invaluable”, Abby explains.
Despite the COVID restrictions, the Magenta Project team has been pushing the mentoring program forward over the past year, integrating digital platforms into the new ways of working. “One of the pandemic developments is the expanded online networking and learning webinars that are available to all current and former mentees and mentors. Many big names in sailing have given presentations and offered their advice and tips. It’s been an incredible resource for our mentees and has kept their ambitions alive.” Annika Möslein has also benefited greatly from this.
Dee Caffari also spoke to a group of mentees from around the world delivering as part of the campaign management lecture team. “It was great to be able to bring some of my experience and top tips to help educate the future women sailors and prepare them for the projects and campaigns that will lead them to success”, she says.
Can the success of the project be measured? Vicky says, “Like mentoring programs in business, we measure the success rate of both mentor and mentee. We have consistently high success rates around 80 percent. This is great even by the standards of fully funded corporate mentoring programs.”
But quantifiable results are hard to collect in this segment. “We monitor progress through feedback points. But because mentees‘ goals often evolve over the course of the relationship, and many goals extend beyond the nine months, it’s not easy to measure success”, Vicky knows.
For Annika Möslein, the mentoring was very successful. She now wants to get fully involved in offshore sailing and combine her PHB in engineering with offshore racing in the future. “I have already worked for SailGP’s engineering team and that was extremely fun. Abby had opened my eyes to that as well. I think the biggest benefit is how many doors mentoring opens for you. Whether it’s through contacts, whether it’s through the questions you can ask, the answers you get. Whether it’s finding your own path better and making your dream a reality.”
Her mentor, Abby Ehler, is very pleased: „Yes, I’m very proud of the project’s accomplishments. The visibility of women’s sports is increasing. Women’s sports are being promoted more and more globally, and more and more women are making decisions. This not only benefits sport, but society as a whole,“ Abby is certain.
Anyone who would like to learn more, get involved, support the program financially, or register as a mentee or mentor can do so at Magenta Project. They welcome any inquiries.