Mentee: Cathy Stewart, Woods Bagot
Mentor: Joanna Embling, former equity partner Cushman & Wakefield
Cathy Stewart, former National Chairman of Women in Property and architect with Woods Bagot, is hugely appreciative of the role her mentor has played.
"I first became involved in mentoring when I joined Women in Property. The programme was too good an opportunity to miss. I registered, trained and then looked for both a mentee and a non-architect mentor.
"I had been at Bristol conference 2003 and I remembered how impressed I was with the chairman, Joanna Embling from Cushman & Wakefield. She seemed to have all the qualities I aspired to, among them being she is respected throughout the industry, is eloquent in what she says and has excellent leadership and people skills. I didn't know Joanna but I eventually plucked up the courage to ask her at the Leeds conference. I need not have been concerned. She was delighted to be asked and immediately went on the training day.
"Our mentoring relationship has lasted over 3 years. Joanna has always been there for me, given sound advice, encouraged me when in I was in doubt and even facilitated additional training for me during my office as National Chairmen.
"Joanna has been an invaluable sounding board since we started the mentoring [scheme.] She was instrumental in advising me through one of the most difficult decisions of my career - to move or not to move? I did move and now I am Director of Education & Science (Europe) for Woods Bagot - the right decision for me. Joanna is a great friend to have…. I recommend this programme to anyone and everyone."
Joanna Embling, Cathy's mentor, believes there is much to be gained for both of you.
"I was immensely flattered to be asked to be a mentor - so don't be afraid to ask. I am always happily surprised that intuitively people want to help. Being Cathy's mentor, I gained as much if not more than she did from the process - everyone benefits - mentor and mentee. Helping Cathy consider her move to Woods Bagot made me think about what qualities are important from both an employer's and employee's perspective.
"If you want to demonstrate to your employer that you are ready for more responsibility, become a mentor and ensure they know about it. The classic 'win win'."