Case Study: Nature Canada

Nature Canada - Women for Nature

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.

The Challenge: Women for Nature aims to develop a strong and engaged next generation of women leaders in science, nature and conservation.

Pollinate Approach

  • Pollinate worked closely with Nature Canada to co-develop the program, including assessing the specific needs of mentees.
  • The mentoring program intake process was tailored to the needs of women in the natural sciences.
  • A pilot in 2017 paired 10 mentees between the ages of 18 to 35 with 10 experienced members of Women for Nature. In 2019 the program doubled in size to serve 20 mentee-mentor pairs.
  • Pollinate and Nature Canada co-created a unique “Community of Practice” series of three webinars that brought together mentees and mentors, plus special guests, to share experiences related to mentoring in the program. Topics included networking, leading projects, and getting the most out of the mentoring experience.
  • The program was refined by tracking feedback and value perceptions from the participants.

Pollinate Approach

  • Pollinate worked closely with Nature Canada to co-develop the program, including assessing the specific needs of mentees.
  • The mentoring program intake process was tailored to the needs of women in the natural sciences.
  • A pilot in 2017 paired 10 mentees between the ages of 18 to 35 with 10 experienced members of Women for Nature. In 2019 the program doubled in size to serve 20 mentee-mentor pairs.
  • Pollinate and Nature Canada co-created a unique “Community of Practice” series of three webinars that brought together mentees and mentors, plus special guests, to share experiences related to mentoring in the program. Topics included networking, leading projects, and getting the most out of the mentoring experience.
  • The program was refined by tracking feedback and value perceptions from the participants.

Results

  • The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented Janet Bax, Women for Nature co-chair and mentorships project leader, with a Nature Canada 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award for her initiative on the Women for Nature mentorships.
  • 93% of participants reported they recommend the mentoring program.
  • 80% would mentor again in the program.
  • 50% of participants will be carrying relationships forward into informal mentorships.
  • Participants utilized the videos and modules extensively.
  • Community of Practice webinars were very well attended and received, with mentees involved in leading the final webinar on the most important lessons learned.

Results

  • The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, presented Janet Bax, Women for Nature co-chair and mentorships project leader, with a Nature Canada 2019 Volunteer of the Year Award for her initiative on the Women for Nature mentorships.
  • 93% of participants reported they recommend the mentoring program.
  • 80% would mentor again in the program.
  • 50% of participants will be carrying relationships forward into informal mentorships.
  • Participants utilized the videos and modules extensively.
  • Community of Practice webinars were very well attended and received, with mentees involved in leading the final webinar on the most important lessons learned.

Janet Bax, Women for Nature co-chair and mentorships project leader, discusses the importance of mentorship.

HIGHLIGHTS

The Women for Nature mentoring program invested in the development of young women leaders across Canada, each of whom are engaged in planet-saving projects.

93% of participants recommend the mentoring program

A Community of Practice webinar series enabled mentors & mentees to discuss topics of interest

The program received funding support from
The
Chawkers Foundation and Natural Resources Canada

93% of participants recommend the mentoring program

A Community of Practice webinar series enabled mentors & mentees to discuss topics of interest

The program received funding support from
The
Chawkers Foundation and Natural Resources Canada

CLIENT TESTIMONIAL

“We’re really thankful for the partnership we have with Pollinate. Our mentees are thrilled with the mentoring program experience; they say it’s highly beneficial and means so much to them.”

Jodi Joy, Director of Development, Nature Canada

“Pollinate’s mentor matching algorithm is pure magic. It’s been a great experience with excellent results.”

Janet Bax, Women for Nature co-chair and mentorships project leader.

More participant comments:

“This is a wonderful program, absolutely encourage its continuation and explore possibilities for growth.”

“It helps accelerate professional development, broaden perspectives and builds confidence.”
“Excellent matching exercise, I encourage you to continue the program, many transferable learnings (both ways)…  my mentee also shared her expertise with me and that helped build our relationship and her sense of mastery/contribution and what I learned from my mentee, I have been able to use in my volunteer work.”

“It’s my first time in a formal mentorship program and even though it can be tricky to fit into life’s busy schedule, it’s amazing what can be organized across the country in a virtual capacity. One great lesson learned is there are opportunities for informal mentorships and understanding the value and benefits of a mentor, I plan to continue to seek out mentors elsewhere and find opportunities to mentor in future.”

“I am very thankful to have been a part of this initiative. I’ve learned so many things that have and will continue to significantly impact my career development.”
“It’s my first time in a formal mentorship program and even though it can be tricky to fit into life’s busy schedule, it’s amazing what can be organized across the country in a virtual capacity. One great lesson learned is there are opportunities for informal mentorships and understanding the value and benefits of a mentor, I plan to continue to seek out mentors elsewhere and find opportunities to mentor in future.”
“It is an excellent fit. I feel we can get to valuable issues and timely advice.”

“Talking through leadership obstacles with a mentor has real value, provides insight.”
“You have done a great job matching my mentor, we are off to a great start. I noticed our difference regarding details vs big picture. It is a good thing. I get stuck in details and like working with big picture people.”
“I am very thankful to have been a part of this initiative. I’ve learned so many things that have and will continue to significantly impact my career development.”
“It has been very helpful when we have spoken. We are rather similar in personality so it is nice to hear how she has navigated similar challenges throughout her career.”
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