Kate Parr loved her job, and she was ready to take it to the next level. Working in the power generation industry filled her with fascination and satisfaction. She was riveted by the engineering, design and complexity of turbines and generators right from the start of her apprenticeship. When she had the opportunity to advance from Millwright Journeyperson to Power Plant Technician, she jumped on it. But her excitement came with a good deal of anxiety. This would be a tremendous change and Kate craved the support of someone who could help her navigate the unknown road ahead.
Stacy Coulis boasted an impressive 21-year career in the Nuclear Power Industry. She was drawn to the work with a determination to use her engineer’s brain to make a positive impact on the environment. Stacy was tremendously satisfied with just about everything about working at Ontario Power Generation. When interviewed about her experience there, she lauded OPG for its fairness in compensation and committed support for its employees. She celebrated the work which provided an opportunity to feel challenged every day. But, she said, there was one thing that always seemed to be missing. Stacy explained, “There is a certain camaraderie and sense of encouragement missing when there are no other women to speak with daily.” There was no criticism in her explanation, just an awareness and perhaps a tug of loneliness familiar to many women who work in male-dominated fields.
At The Prosperity Project, we envision a more equal representation of women across all fields. In the spirit of that ambitious but obtainable vision, the Rosie Initiative seeks to empower women to pursue advancement in or movement towards careers in STEM, skilled trades, and leadership. Through the Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program, women have the opportunity to guide and learn from each other as their careers develop. We believe in the power of confidence that a woman creates when she tells a protégée, “I did it. You can do it, too.”
Kate and Stacy were matched through the Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program. Stacy admitted that she was initially nervous to speak to her protégée, but she hoped to renew her passion for the energy sector by speaking to a woman just starting in the field. With Stacy’s guidance, Kate set three SMART goals that included improving her knowledge and education within her new job, networking with other women in the industry, and creating a better work/life balance.
“Each month, we would introduce a new goal, then catch up on how the first month(s) goal started out, with updates ongoing,” Kate says. “My mentor and I chatted about active listening; how having someone to listen to your experience with compassion and be able to provide relevant feedback is important. That relationship really mattered to me.” During their one-hour calls, Stacy learned the valuable lesson of dedicating the first part of the call to listening, which helped her understand the protégée’s needs. Additionally, she learned the importance of effective communication and time management when coordinating and scheduling meetings. Despite being shift workers, they overcame this obstacle through effective communication.
Stacy recommends this program to anyone looking to mentor, as it helped her re-evaluate her personal goals and encouraged her to push beyond her limits in her current position, prompting herself to establish new objectives for the future. Kate looks forward to gaining more experience and leadership qualities and paying it forward by becoming a mentor in the future, stating “I can’t thank [Stacy and TPP] enough for this amazing opportunity.” Kate is grateful for the support and guidance she received from her mentor throughout the program and credits the experience with helping her gain a new perspective on her career path. She feels confident and motivated to continue pursuing her goals and aspirations, knowing that she has the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.
Kate considers participation in the mentoring program as a transformative experience that has had a positive impact on both her personal and professional development. If you are interested in learning more about mentoring opportunities, visit the Rosie 1:1 Mentoring Program page, and sign up today! Questions? You can visit our FAQ page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.