We Connect launched a mentorship program for gender diversity to address the underrepresentation of women in renewable energy in South Africa.
In 2021, We Connect launched a pilot mentorship programme for people wanting to contribute to gender diversity in renewable energy. The programme was administered by KD strategies, specialising in economic development projects, and supported by business coach extraordinaire, Paula Quinsee – all in partnership with SAWEA and SAPVIA.
Our induction session kick started the programme in May 2021 where 11 female and non-binary mentees and 11 male and female mentors embarked on a mentorship journey together. What made this programme different was the involvement of male counterparts as mentors. We believe that everyone needs to play an active role to improve gender diversity, and we especially need our male colleagues to support the efforts.
Mentees and mentors were paired up to meet one-to-one. To create a mentorship network, we hosted touchpoint events attended by all participants where we covered leadership, imposter syndrome, how to have courageous conversations and time management.
The pilot programme concluded in December 2021 and to thank our 22 participants, we planted 22 spekboom in their honour to signify growth rooted in renewable energy.
Considering that this was a pilot programme, WE Connect will use the lessons learned to improve the programme for 2022 – applications will open in February 2022.