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Radical Mentoring with The Girls’ Day Trust School

Rungway was rolled out to 70,000 women in the UK to encourage students at Sheffield High School for Girls to interact and probe like-minded professionals in their field of interest.

8 Mar 2019 | 13 min read


Having a great mentor is a key factor to improving employee engagement among millennials. Millennials planning to stay with their employer for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor (68%) than not (32%).

However, there are limits as to how far a one-on-one mentor / mentee dynamic can go. Schedules can be busy, people may hesitate to admit weakness, and they may not know who to approach for every situation.

Banking and finance sectors alone are experiencing unprecedented shifts, with experts predicting that bank employees will need to adapt to working ‘four or five careers’ within their fields. Younger lawyers are also discovered to be struggling with stress and mental health issues in their early career years.

Ultimately, organisations are grappling with ways to resolve this tension point, particularly in a manner that suits a new working generation which grew up in a truly digital age. Many brands are discovering the solution in a completely new type of mentorship.

This need for mentorship is not exclusive to the professional fields.

The Girls’ Day Trust School (GDST) is a unique network of national schools where students have access to career advice and the experience of over 70,000 alumnae.

The staff, however, discovered that sixth-formers were often hesitant to take advantage of face-to-face meeting opportunities.

The root issues were discovered to be a lack of confidence or time to prepare for or attend a meeting. Some felt too intimidated to open up to an experienced or senior leader (a fear that many of us retain even far down our careers). The sixth-form council realized the solution had to be digital, allowing girls to post questions anonymously, when it suited them, to tap the wisdom of a wide pool of mentors for the right advice at the right time.

Once the GDST partnered with Rungway’s digital mentoring app, it quickly became apparent that students felt immediately comfortable with the anonymity function, the ease and convenience of posting, and the ability to receive real-time advice from such diverse, experienced alumnae.

The girls had the additional benefit of tracking and learning from many other question-and-answer threads posted by fellow students. Alumnae too feel a deep satisfaction at the opportunity to contribute hard-won career advice and see such an immediate impact.

Implementation is simple. A student simply registers with an account, downloads the app on their phone, and is able to immediately post a question, which means the app can be quickly and easily adapted to schools and organizations alike.

One success story is that of Year 13 pupil Agatha Stephenson Meech, who registered on the app and requested advice in the midwifery field. She was quickly reached out to by former student and midwife herself, Becky Weston. Becky not only responded to the post, but eventually established enough trust and rapport that the pair ended up meeting in person at school.

For some professions, such as law, the anonymity feature is an important tool designed for yet inexperienced advocates to freely post questions that would otherwise be uncomfortable to ask in person.

Becky was able to share invaluable advice which proved instrumental as Agatha proceeded to receive four interviews at different universities.

“The confidence I gained, by having easy access to support from alumnae who were once in the exact same position, was unparalleled...”

“Rungway has opened up new ways for us to ask for careers advice and get help from people in the workplace. I asked a question and people shared their experiences with me.” - Agatha, aspiring midwife.

Traditional mentor/mentee dynamics can seem forced, mismatched and inconvenient. Rungway’s app is designed so that not only will thousands of experienced professionals see questions they could help with, but they can conveniently pass on their wisdom to the next generation who need to learn and adapt quickly to their environments.

“I was able to give Agatha a real insight into different aspects of the job; we discussed the incredibly rewarding parts of the job, specialist areas and a range of opportunities a career within midwifery can offer.” -Becky Weston.

The app’s rollout with the GDST has proven so successful, the platform is now being rolled out to 24 schools and academies in the GDST network. Rungway’s app is a technological solution that is easy and safe, simple to implement and already deployed into leading organisations.

We believe that building your professional network is a vital asset for the girls in GDST schools. Our partnership with Rungway is a brilliant way of connecting each girl in our Sixth Form with our alumnae network of 70,000 women, at a time when they are thinking hard about what their futures might hold.

The Rungway app provides the perfect space for girls to ask those burning questions, anonymously, and join in conversations with women from all walks of life with an incredible experience. After just a few, we are already seeing the positive impact this is making for girls in our schools as they engage with women who can help them prepare for life beyond school.
— CEO - Girls' Day School Trust


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