‘Lifelong learning’ is an expression that is often used rather casually in business, but it makes sense that some level of continued professional development is necessary for careers of every type. More often than not, this takes the form of short-term on-the-job training or custom designed in-house programmes that improve skills and achieve a learning objective. And while there’s no doubting the value of skills training alone, to gain the most value from it, mentoring can play a truly powerful role in taking professionals to the next level.
It harks back to the old adage ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’. The most effective mentoring partnerships are those that pair a mentee with someone who is a true role model – a person who is successful, yes, but also relatable and aspirational. And this is where the right mentor can be truly life changing for professional people who might not see themselves in the leadership space. Working with a mentor with a shared lived experience, someone for whom many ambitions have already been realised, can be both a guiding light and an inspiration.
Throughout EMEA, Canon have local mentorship programmes that work with colleagues at all stages of their careers. Canon Middle East, Turkey and Central and North Africa offers training-focused internships and mentoring to female graduates through the ‘Women in Sales’ programme. The objective is to increase the number of women in sales management across the regions and the programme has been specifically tailored to suit each location, with each participant working with their own mentor. “Gender equality and empowerment of women are key ingredients to create an inclusive society as well as to attain economic growth,” explains Veronica Juul-Nyholm, Director of Human Resources at Canon Middle East. “The Women in Sales programme aims to create an enabling working environment for women by providing them the right set of tools required for professional success and satisfaction.”