EGU2020-266, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Mentorship knows no distance: an online career mentorship programme by Women in Geospatial+

Sabrina H. Szeto1, Julia Wagemann2,3, and Aubin A. Douglas4,5
Sabrina H. Szeto et al.
  • 1Sabrina Szeto Consulting, Hohenlinden, Germany (
  • 2The Philipps University of Marburg, Marburg, Germany
  • 3European Center For Medium Range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 4U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lakewood, Colorado, United States
  • 5Ecology Center and the Department of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, United States

Women in Geospatial+ is a professional network that promotes gender-equality in the geospatial industry and academia. In October 2019, Women in Geospatial+ launched an online career mentorship programme that attracted over 180 global applicants. The inaugural cohort featured 42 participants from 17 countries who were matched with mentors, mentees or peer mentors based on their career goals and time zones. 

The programme enabled mentorship between mid-career and early career participants as well as peer mentorship between people with similar career stages. People of all genders were welcome to participate in this year-long programme. As a result, two men participated as mentors. Participants were provided with a mentorship programme guide with resources for a successful mentorship experience. They were also required to discuss goals and expectations as a group and submit an agreement form at the start of the programme. A safe space via a Slack channel was created where women could interact with other women participants in the mentorship programme. In addition, a social media campaign on Twitter and LinkedIn (#MentorshipMonday) also featured programme participants, their work and their achievements in the geospatial field.

This presentation will feature lessons learned from organising the mentorship programme as well as feedback from participants about how the mentorship programme has impacted their careers and professional growth.

How to cite: Szeto, S. H., Wagemann, J., and Douglas, A. A.: Mentorship knows no distance: an online career mentorship programme by Women in Geospatial+, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-266,, 2019


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  • CC1: Comment on EGU2020-266, Anniken R. Birkelund, 05 May 2020


    Thanks for the nice presentation :)

    I was wondering how you run the program - do you have a lot of administrative work? Are specialists on mentoring running the program? How do you get the participants to join (especially the mentors)?


    • AC1: Reply to CC1, Sabrina H. Szeto, 05 May 2020

      Q: Do you have a lot of administrative work? The initial setup of the programme required the largest amount of time. We had to create the mentorship guide, timeline, application form, expectations form and then advertise the programme. Reading applications, selecting applicants and creating the mentorship pairs/groups also took time and effort. But now that we have our resources, we can focus on revising and improving them so the second cohort will require less startup effort. When the programme is operational, there is less administrative overhead.

      Q: Are specialists on mentoring running the program? No, the team running the programme are all volunteers who have experienced the benefits of mentorship - both as mentees and mentors in our careers. The overall structure of the programme was inspired by a mentorship programme that I had experienced as a masters student. 

      Q: How do you get the participants to join (especially the mentors)? We advertised the programme online via social media and in-person during conferences last year. We reached out as well through our professional networks to spread word about the programme.