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ODScore Launches Women for Nature Mentoring Program

Posted November 16, 2017 by Jonathon Jackson

ODScore is pleased to announce the launch of a new mentoring program with Women for Nature.

The six-month program is designed to provide opportunities for emerging women leaders within science, nature, and conservation in Canada.

Ten mentees between the ages of 18 and 35 have been paired with 10 experienced members of Women for Nature who will share their experiences and insights.

Women for Nature is a signature philanthropic initiative of Nature Canada that brings together professional women from diverse sectors and backgrounds across Canada. Its goals are to promote the importance of nature and to encourage more Canadians to connect with nature.

A mentoring program to encourage the sharing of advice and knowledge and to empower young women to be leaders in conservation is the perfect fit for Women for Nature.

“Women for Nature allows me to connect with others to find ways to preserve our nature heritage and to use nature to promote important skills, such as STEM, and to interest young women in ways to become leaders in nature,” said mentorship project leader Janet Bax, a strategic advisor with the Council of Canadian Academies.

Lisa Cunningham, ODScore’s Vice President of Client Delivery and HR Business Partner, said the chosen mentees were engaged through a number of partnerships. These include STEM-based projects like Actua’s youth educators, community partners like Ontario Nature’s Youth Council, and Women for Nature’s Young Nature Leadership Grant, a bursary program.

“These young women become stronger, more effective leaders in their communities, because they’re able to develop their critical-thinking skills, confidence, and leadership skills; we see an enhancement in all of those. Barriers to career success are reduced, and feelings of connectedness are strengthened,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham adds that such engagement is also beneficial to the mentors.

A kick-off webinar this week introduced the program to participants. The webinar provided information on the program outline, articulated the role of the mentors and mentees within a mentoring relationship, highlighted the importance of goal setting, and provided a host of helpful resources.

ODScore has organized and facilitated the program by conducting the intake process for both mentors and mentees and by using its best-in-class learning assessment platform Global OD to make the matches. This is done with the Knowledge Transfer Index psychometric assessment and a proprietary matching algorithm.

“We blend science and knowhow,” Cunningham says of ODScore’s noted expertise in this area. “It’s really the blend of the science and our knowledge of people.

“We’re able to take into consideration not just the algorithmic match criteria, but we’re also able to bring in match considerations from an HR and OD perspective.”

Many participants already met in October at a Women for Nature Parliamentary Reception in Ottawa. The event celebrated not only the initiative itself, but also the fact that it reached and surpassed its membership goal of 150, a milestone chosen to mark Canada’s sesquicentennial this year.

Dignitaries at the event included Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Senator Nancy Greene Raine, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, and ODScore Chief Executive Officer Christy Pettit, all of whom are Women for Nature members.

Cunningham, who was also in attendance, says ODScore is proud of its association with Women for Nature and of its role in delivering this new mentoring program.

She says the mentors are just as excited as the mentees to begin working together.

“Some of the initiatives that they’ve been working on, and the differences they’ve made in their communities, it’s just outstanding,” she said of the young women who were chosen for this venture.

“To know that we’re having a role in that, to get them to continue to develop and expand their thinking as leaders of the next generation, is pretty profound.”


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