The Magenta Project’s Mentoring Programme for aspiring female sailors was recently launched which aims to link up individual sailors with mentors across the industry and support them with their sailing development

In this article we outline how mentoring can help you, when you should consider applying to be mentored and what will increase your chance of being successful with your application and with being matched with the right mentor for you

We want to see more women at the top of sailing. Research has shown that having role models and mentors can make a very positive difference to personal and professional development and to realising an individual’s full potential. To date no open access mentoring scheme operates across the sport of sailing for women and through our new programme we are keen to address that

How can mentoring help you?
  1. Helping you find your way and learn the ‘ropes’

A mentor can offer advice on how to best navigate a new sailing event/opportunity and give information about the way it works, the explicit and unspoken rules, the key people and politics. They can help you feel comfortable operating within that environment and provide practical advice

  1. Clarify your aspirations

You may already be clear about what your short and long-term aspirations are, but a mentor can help you think about your sailing pathway to achieving them, how best to progress and may identify other opportunities you haven’t thought of. If you are not yet clear on your aspirations they can help you clarify them

  1. Identify your experience and skill set and anything missing that you need to work on

A mentor can help you explore and identify where there might be skills or experience gaps that need to be filled and help you work out how best to address them

  1. Share with you what works

If you ask them, mentors will usually share their experience and stories of what’s worked in their sailing careers and what hasn’t. Learn from them

  1. Help you define success

Helping you to understand and define ‘success’ in sailing events and your sailing career. Success is not just about winning, they can help you identify what is realistic in the short and long term and what will help you feel fulfilled in your sailing career

  1. Solve problems

You can turn to your mentors for feedback on any challenges you are experiencing, offering possible solutions to problems, as well as general strategies that have worked for them in similar situations

  1. Evaluate sailing opportunities/job offers

You may be offered sailing opportunities bit may not be sure if it is the right thing for you at a moment in time. A mentor can help you look objectively at the pros and cons and evaluate the fit with your pathway and future plans

  1. Help you network and connect to the right people

Mentors can provide advice on where and with whom you should network and may be able to introduce you to potential supporters and champions

  1. Get you noticed

If raising visibility is important to you, then a mentor may be able to provide advice on ways to raise your visibility in an authentic way

When should you apply to be mentored?

This is a difficult one to answer because mentoring can help at any time in your sailing career. However, it can be particularly useful in any of the following scenarios:

  • You are facing challenges in progressing your sailing career
  • You are looking to change sailing events
  • You are campaigning (or starting a campaign) to race in a particular sailing event

What will increase your chance of being successful in your application and being matched with the right mentor?

A cliché, but the more you put in the more you will get out of mentoring. It is critical that you invest time, both at the time of application and during the relationship, in working out what you want to achieve, where you need support and how a mentor can potentially help

We only have limited places available on the programme at the current time, so the more you are able to provide by way of information at the application stage the better. Crucially, this will also help us match you to the right mentor depending on your specific aspirations and needs

About the scheme
In this first phase of the programme we are looking to support sailors who fit within the following groups:
  • Olympic/dinghy class transitions– for those seeking to move from Olympic/dinghy classes to offshore or inshore/keelboats. Both youth (18-25) and senior (>25years) sailors
  • Offshore sailors – sailors already racing offshore who want to up their game, change classes or aim for a particular race (solo and crewed)
  • Inshore/keelboat– those already in keelboats/yachts aspiring to compete in any class, including top foiling events & match racing

You need to be 18 years or older to apply

Applications closing date is 2300 UTC September 16th 2018. Matching of mentors and mentees will take place October 2018. 1st mentor/mentee meetings will start from October 2018

This first phase of our programme will pilot the scheme and only limited places will be available. Once we have evaluated the findings from the pilot we anticipate opening up future opportunities for mentoring in 2019

To apply complete the following Mentee Application Form

If you have any questions about the scheme or have any specific needs and require assistance in completing the application, please contact

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