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Building off of the highly successful and established Mentorship Program that was developed by the Women in Structural Engineering Committee, SEAOSC has formed the Mentorship Committee which is actively seeking participants for the 2024-25 term.

The Mentorship Program provides the opportunity for SEAOSC Members to participate as a mentor or mentee or both, to build up the profession by sharing knowledge and experience, cultivating community, and inspiring future leaders. Historically, it has been very rewarding to past participants, so much so, that many have repeated the program.

Based on the review of the mentor and mentee applications, the program pairs two people at various career levels (mid-level and senior level, emerging level and mid-level, or emerging level and senior level) who would meet monthly in a structured setting at a time of their choice with prompts from the program to address key issues and also check-in on goals. This allows for a deeper connection between two people, the ability to talk about more personal issues, and a chance to build a lasting relationship that continues beyond the structured format of the program.

Mentor/mentee matches are in place for 12 months and can be renewed if all parties agree.

How the Program Works:

Each month, mentors and mentees meet to create a relationship and move towards defined goals. Mentors would be matched based on 3 levels of experience:

  • Established Member: 25+ years
  • Mid-level Member: on average 10-15 years
  • Emerging Members: less than 10 years

These meetings would be structured and last for 60-90 minutes. The mentor mentee pairing would be for approximately 12 months. SEAOSC would have a mentor program coordinator to facilitate the matches, provide training and support to mentors and mentees, and be a resource to make the matches successful.

Mentor Screening, Matching, & Support:

Mentor Program Coordinators will begin with an initial screening that includes an intake form and interview to help determine the best match for the mentor/mentee. The mentors will have very brief check-ins with the Program Coordinators for at least the first 3 months after matching to offer and receive feedback on the match. The Program Coordinators will work to support the resolution of any issues or challenges that arise, and can also be accessed for challenges that a mentor is asked about that they need support with.

History and Acknowledgement:

In 2019, the Women in Structural Engineering Committee (WiSE) identified mentorship as a need as well as a strategy to encourage career engagement, advancement, and satisfaction for the Members of SEAOSC. The WiSE Mentorship subcommittee spent the next few years conducting research and developing mentorship resources and materials, and launched the official Mentorship Program in 2022. Through the efforts of WiSE, resources such as the mentor and mentee handbooks and the Program structure have been established so that future chairs and committee members could continue running the Program with minimal yearly maintenance. As of 2024, what started as a subcommittee within WiSE has now grown into its own Mentorship Committee under SEAOSC. We would like to acknowledge SEAONC and the SE3 Committee for their partnership in sharing research, materials, and lessons learned to develop a successful Mentorship Program.

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The Structural Engineers Association of Southern California (SEAOSC) is a professional association with a rich history and a commitment to shaping the future of structural engineering. This legacy continues to affect the field, as SEAOSC remains a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing, professional development, and community engagement.

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