UNIC: What was your main motivation to apply?
Chloe: After finding an industry I love working in, I really wanted to learn from leading women in cinema, to understand how I could progress in my role and also within the cinema industry. Also, I joined Movio, three weeks before we went into lockdown in London and so I was looking for an opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded professionals.
UNIC: It is your second year as a mentor in the UNIC Women's Cinema Leadership Programme. What was the new mentoring experience like for you? Did you approach it differently comparing to last year?
Norma: It was a privilege to mentor again. Mentoring is in my heart - I enjoy helping women succeed. My experience with Chloe was not alike because she had different goals, experiences, and journeys. My approach, however, was the same. Chloe inspired me - I loved our sessions.
UNIC: How was the mentoring year for you? What changed?
Chloe: Being on the mentoring programme has been incredible. Having Norma as my mentor has meant having a strong, talented and hugely-respected, female to look up to. I was able to lean on Norma for professional advice and she gave me a lot of guidance on how to approach different workplace situations. Everything I wish I'd been taught in school!
UNIC: What’s the secret to your mentoring relationship?
Chloe: The most beneficial mentoring sessions, start with both the mentor and mentee being very open and honest. Norma shared with me, many real life experiences she's gone through in her career, to illustrate advice she gave throughout our sessions.
Norma: Be completely transparent with feedback, apply a strategic roadmap to support departmental goals, and do all the hard work to get there. I like to call this a “business plan mindset.” Oh, and another secret - become friends! With friendship, there is trust.
UNIC: How did you structure and organise sessions ?
Chloe: We began with a session where we got to know each other & I talked Norma through my goals. Each month, we'd then check in on what steps I'd taken to working towards those goals. Norma would give me suggestions on how to tackle the next challenge and then set me homework for the following month, which really meant I was driving myself forwards and making progress.
Norma: Chloe dictated the topics we covered. My job was to refer to the goal sheet to keep us centered. We also read from a few books as inspiration and inserted a lot of laughter into our storytelling. I try not to take myself too seriously, so I shared some of my silly mishaps and memorable struggles I overcame.
UNIC: What were the main challenges for you in your mentoring?
Chloe: Initially I found it hard to put down concrete long-term goals for myself and it took me some time, but once I'd established the direction I wanted to go in, I really found having them documented much easier to work towards.
Norma: Other than rescheduling a few times due to executive meetings, there were not many challenges. Chloe was always prepared, and every month was a unique experience.
UNIC: If you were to start the whole journey again what would you do differently?
Chloe: I wouldn't change anything. I've learnt so much from this experience and from my wonderful mentor Norma. Even though I'm sad I've come to the end of the year long programme, I feel like it has opened so many doors for me and I'm excited for what's to come!
Norma: Start early. I stepped in to help out a mentor who could no longer be in the program, so Chloe was well into her sessions. I had to play catch up and ensure Chloe felt supported.
UNIC: What do you see as your main accomplishment/outcome that has come out of your participation in this programme?
Chloe: My main goal was to be promoted, but as our sessions went on through the year, I realised the confidence I'd gained, the tools that I'd learnt and the soft skills I acquired along the way, really feel like the biggest accomplishment of all. The icing on the cake was getting promoted this month!
Norma: Chloe’s promotion! She did it, and I’m so proud. I also witnessed Chloe's personal growth in becoming a confident leader.
UNIC: What did you enjoy the most?
Chloe: I really enjoyed the group mentee sessions, especially hearing about how other pairs structured their sessions and taking tips on what I could also bring to my mentoring sessions. I also loved the switch mentor session I had with Greta, who offered me some great advice, I will be putting in practice in the next year.
Norma: The group sessions. It’s always lovely to see the cohort together and feel a sense of community. We need a UNIC T-Shirt :)
UNIC: What advice would you give to the new cohort of mentors and mentees?
Chloe: Come to your sessions prepared with clear idea of what you would like to get out of each of them. Be ambitious with your goals, but sometimes the end result isn’t always about a clear defined outcome. I would also recommend using this as an opportunity to push yourself out of your comfort zone where possible.
Norma: Mentors: educate our mentees about the bigger business picture so they can understand their role and take actionable steps toward growth. Also, teach mentees about currency in an organization; impact currency” and “relationship currency.” Mentors and mentees: be authentic, listen, participate and have fun!