PWN Dublin: 2022 Group Mentoring Launch - Shaping your career in the future workplace

PWN Dublin's 2022 Group Mentoring Launch, with the theme of "Shaping your career in the future workplace" took place on Thursday 13th January.  To launch the 2022 programme, PWN Dublin had the pleasure of welcoming two guest speakers: Carol Bolger, Chairperson of the Board of An Post and Claire Chung, Managing Director, Head of TTS Technology EMEA at Citi.  

PWN Dublin Group Mentoring Launch
Both speakers shared insights on what has shaped their careers to date, in addition to discussing the future of work through the prism of gender balanced leadership. The speakers were followed by an engaging panel discussion, with Keara McAndrew and Noreen O'Keeffe, chaired by Amanda Kirk, on group mentoring and what benefits it brings, both to mentor and mentee.

PWN Dublin’s 2022 mentoring programme, builds on the hugely successful programmes in 2020 and 2021. Reflecting on the success their programmes, they realise that none of this would have been possible without Walthea Patterson and Amanda Kirk.

Back in 2018, Walthea approached Amanda to be her Co-Vice President of Mentoring for PWN Dublin. After seven years on the management committee of PWN Dublin as the VP/Co-VP of mentoring, Walthea decided to step back and focus on other aspects of her career. 

Amanda kindly agreed to interview Walthea to capture her thoughts on being a volunteer with PWN Dublin, and the importance of mentoring.  

Walthea, you have been a valued part of the PWN Dublin Board for many years. What do you believe has been your contribution to the network?

I have had the privilege to be on the management committee of PWN Dublin as the VP/Co-VP of Mentoring for seven years. The PWN Dublin management committee is a shining example that the whole can be so much greater than the sum of its parts. In the early years of my role, I was responsible for organizing events on the themes of mentoring and sponsorship. I initiated and rolled out a peer mentoring session, as an addition at the end of our regular events, to encourage networking conversations, which helped drive membership for PWN Dublin.

What was it that inspired you to promote mentoring as an activity to PWN Dublin members?

The reason that I am a champion for mentoring is that all through my career, both in the USA and Ireland, numerous people (men and women) generously gave me their time to answer my questions, to share their stories, and to encourage me to adapt and thrive in ever changing environments. My mentoring efforts feel like I have come full circle, in as much as I can now give back some of the generosity showed to me. I am a great believer in playing it forward. 

Walthea, would you give us an insight into the design of the PWN Group Mentoring Programme?

In 2020, using the expertise and the support of the PWN Dublin management committee and our corporate partners, I had the pleasure to design and pilot a group mentoring programme. One of my strongly held beliefs is that a woman needs competence, character and connections to advance her career. All three of these “Cs” are in the DNA of the PWN Dublin Mentoring programme, which has grown from an initial group of 30 mentees in the 2020 pilot to 60 mentees in our 2021 intake.

The process involves the mentors selecting a particular competence for the focus of their six group sessions. Character is developed by becoming more self-aware of our own blind spots. PWN Dublin Mentoring groups have a diversity of members from a variety of functions, generations and industries. It is a chance to connect and to learn from people outside of their own organisation. 

What did you enjoy most about launching the PWN Mentoring Programme?

Being the panel moderator for the launch events was something that I enjoyed immensely. I love asking questions and preparing people for interviews. I make change easier for people, so they can improve their performance and achieve their desired goals.

As a Cognitive Behavioural Coach, I help my clients to uncover the tools needed to make the changes they want to make, and to cope with the changes that they did not choose but have to accept. During my years on the management committee, I have been thrilled to see so many members advance their careers.  

“Thank you Walthea for sharing your thoughts with us and for the contribution that you have made to advancing gender balanced leadership. In the words of Michelle Obama (another great American Lady!) “People who are truly strong lift others up, people who are truly powerful bring others togethers.”  You really have created an avenue for PWN members to come together, to share, learn and advise. You planted the seeds and PWN Dublin is committed to continuing to grow the PWN Mentoring Programme.” – Amanda Kirk

PWN Dublin is delighted to have 10 mentors ready to lead our 2022 mentor groups on extremely relevant and interesting topics appealing to members at all levels of their careers. 

Our mentorship programme is open to all PWN Dublin full members. More detail can be found here


Date: January 2022
Author: Caoimhe McWeeney 
Copy Editor: Rebecca Fountain, Marketing Consultant, PWN Global 



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