You are here


September 30, 2020

“Women mentoring women: A mentees perspective”


On the 30th of September 2020, OWSD Zimbabwe National Chapter hosted Mrs. Blessing Nyamasoka Magonziwa as she addressed the topic, “Women mentoring women: A mentees perspective”. Mrs. Blessing Nyamasoka is a PhD candidate and research assistant at Colorado University. She is also interested in promoting the participation of women and girls in STEM and strongly believes that mentorship plays a significant role in promoting women. The presenter also participated in trainings and workshops on inclusive mentoring, diversity and inclusion in Ag Sciences and beyond and women in science. 
The science talk was opened by Dr. Chipo Shonhiwa, the OWSD Zimbabwe National Chapter secretary as she gave the opening remarks acknowledging the presence of the executive committee members, members of the OWSD Zimbabwe National Chapter and the President of the National Chapter Dr. Fortunate Farirai. She also shared on the objectives and aims of the OWSD Zimbabwe National Chapter.
The presentation by Mrs. Blessing Nyamasoka Magonziwa was eye opening and inspiring. She highlighted very important questions for members to ponder on. She also shared that leaders become great not because of their own power but because they have been able to uplift and empower other women. She also highlighted that mentor-mentee relationship is a two way transfer or sharing of knowledge, skills, network, resources and experiences. The relationship is mutually beneficial, benefiting both the mentee and mentors in different ways. She also opened up to the reasons why some prominent women are not comfortable with mentoring. This is because some mentees are parasites and they just want to benefit from the mentor. This breeds an unhealthy relationship. Mrs. Magonziwa also shared the benefits of being a mentor and these include helping with leadership, time management and communication, skills of the mentor are sharpened and it helps also the mentor keep abreast with current issues in science, research, academia or industry. Her presentation also highlighted on the two types of mentorship and these include formal and informal. The types of mentorship hinge on two things that is professional respect and mutual commitment to the cause. 
To add on to the above, Mrs. Magonziwa also explained on how to be a good mentor. She advised mentors not to accept all proposals for mentorship but to mentor individuals they believe they have the capacity to help. A good mentor shares successes and failures with the mentee. She also encouraged mentors to be sensitive to the mentees mental health. Some mentees may suffer from imposter syndrome whereby the mentee feels they don’t belong and it prevents them from not wanting to advance, thus if that syndrome starts developing on mentees, the mentor will be able to point them to the right resources to help them out. She concluded with a quote, “you are who the world needs for the advancement of women in science”.
The talk ended with a question and answer, views and comments session as members also got to share their views. Ms. Polite Mukwada, executive committee member gave the closing remarks as she encouraged women not to fear being a mentor.

Compiled by: Amanda Muza Administrator for OWSDZNC

Success stories

Search form