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Advance HE delivers a national level Women in STEM mentoring programme in Peru

15 Jan 2021 | Advance HE Advance HE continues to demonstrate its commitment to championing gender equality across the global higher education sector, working with Peruvian academics to develop the skills and build capacity for a Women in STEM mentoring programme.

After being commissioned by the British Council in Peru and in partnership with the National Council of Science, Technology and Technological Innovation of Peru (CONCYTEC) and the Committee Pro-Women in STI (Peru), Advance HE developed an intensive four-day online programme, entitled ‘Introduction to Mentoring in Higher Education’.

The programme was designed for academics working across all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects to widen access to mentoring research which in the past, had been limited to medical and biotechnical disciplines.

The programme forms part of a wider British Council and CONCYTEC initiative to reduce social and economic inequalities for women in Peru by providing them with the opportunity to acquire new skills whilst at the same time building confidence and enhancing the participant’s self-esteem required to succeed in academia.

The programme was delivered between 23-26 November to 186 participants, involving four three-hour online sessions and was intended to be the first phase of a wider mentoring programme, aimed at growing a cohort of mentors who can effectively mentor female early career researchers.

The lead for the project delivery was Dr Debra Croft, an associate with Advance HE, who has had extensive experience in Equality & Diversity in HE in Wales, and has launched and managed various mentoring programmes at all levels in HE. 

Dr Croft said: “This was a project with a short lead-in timescale which I was delighted to be involved with. The enthusiasm of our Peruvian colleagues and the way in which the participants threw themselves into the intensive course made it a pleasure and extremely worthwhile. The feedback was fantastic and our aim of equipping the prospective mentors with the tools to make a difference was achieved, taking the best of local knowledge and combining that with sector best practice. I look forward to seeing the mentoring programme being rolled out in Peru.”

Adriana Delgado, Education and Society Manager at British Council Peru, said: “I have been impressed by this group of women who have taken up the fight of moving forward the women in science agenda from behind, and in front of, the scenes whose effort has allowed us to carry out this first step in the mentoring programme in Peru.

“I would like to thank them, our science and innovation coordinator, Advance HE, and the training speakers and facilitators that have made this possible. This training is an initiative from CONCYTEC’s Committee Pro Women in STI that has been supported by the British Council. It is also part of the British Council’s regional effort in the Americas to identify and strengthen spaces of collaboration, based on the evidence, to increase the participation of women in science as well as of researchers that might suffer direct or indirect discrimination due to their ethnicity or origin which responds to the country’s priorities of inclusion.”

Kristian Rumble, International Partnerships Manager at Advance HE said: “We were delighted to be given the opportunity to design, develop and deliver the programme to senior academics in Peru. We have excellent relationships with the British Council across the world and this programme is another example of the great work we can do in collaboration with them and their partners.

“Gender equality is a key pillar of our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy and developing skills and providing opportunities for women across the globe is a major part of this. Feedback from the programme has been extremely positive and we will continue to work towards and push for gender equity, not just in higher education but across society as a whole.”

Advance HE's Women in HE Conference 2021 takes place on 25 February 2021 and will consider the key challenges in achieving step change across HE in relation to all gender equality issues through exploration across a range of themes relating to women in HE. Find out more and book your place.

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