By Gemma Kollios, Mentor Coordinator

Gemma Kollios is the Success Works Mentor Coordinator. Gemma’s role is to oversee the mentoring program, match mentors with mentees, provide training and ongoing support to ensure a successful mentoring experience. She is committed to making a positive impact in the lives of women who have been affected by the criminal justice system.   

Mentorship is a mutually beneficial relationship between a mentor and a mentee. While a Success Works mentee gains valuable knowledge, skills, and guidance from the mentor, which will also help them to achieve employment, the mentor also gains valuable skills that can enhance their personal and professional growth. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the valuable skills a mentor can gain through the mentorship experience.

Coaching and leadership skills

As a mentor, you are in a position of influence. You are responsible for guiding and inspiring your Success Works mentee to achieve their goals, but doing this without judging and without telling. This responsibility can help you develop your own leadership and coaching skills. These skills can be useful in your personal and professional life, allowing you to lead and inspire others in various contexts. As one of our mentors, Julie, told me recently, “It’s about listening, destigmatising, and giving them pride. They’ve got to find their own purpose, but you can help them with that. Often, they have the solution.”


Mentoring requires self-reflection and introspection. As a mentor, you need to analyse your own experiences, skills, and strengths to help your mentee. This self-reflection can help you become more self-aware and identify areas for improvement. It can also help you gain a better understanding of your values, beliefs, and goals. As one of our mentors, Nicola, shared with me recently, “Mentoring is so powerful because it shows you your leadership blind spots: you hear first-hand from your mentee how something in a recruitment process or workplace impacted them negatively. And then you realise how you have also been that leader and you gain an appreciation of how your leadership might impact someone negatively. And then you commit to changing and becoming the leader you want to be”

Listening and effective questioning skills

Effective communication, listening, and particularly asking effective questions are critical in mentorship. As a Success Works mentor, you need to communicate clearly and effectively with your mentee to ensure they understand your guidance and feedback. This process can help you to develop your communication skills, such as active listening, empathy, and feedback delivery. These skills can be valuable in various personal and professional contexts, such as leadership, negotiation, and conflict resolution. As part of our mentor training, you will learn all about effective questioning. Contact me now to register for the next training session.

Networking skills

Mentoring can also provide opportunities for networking and professional development. As a Success Works mentor, you will have the opportunity to connect with other amazing women who are also volunteering as mentors. These connections can help you gain insights, expand your knowledge, and identify new opportunities for growth and development. Our amazing group of mentors come from various industries including Human Resources, Law, Finance, Psychology, Recruitment, Counselling, Fitness, Information Technology, and the list goes on.

Mentoring can be a continuous learning experience for both the mentor and mentee. As a mentor, you will also learn a lot from your mentee as you will be hearing about their experiences and perspectives. At the same time, in order to provide the most relevant and useful guidance to your mentee, you might also want to keep up with the latest practices in writing CVs, interviewing for roles, and workplace practices. This commitment to continuous learning can help you stay current in your field, improve your skills, and enhance your professional reputation.

Mentoring is a valuable experience that can benefit both the mentor and mentee. As a mentor, you can gain valuable skills, such as leadership, self-reflection, communication, networking, and continuous learning. These skills can help you enhance your personal and professional growth, and become a more effective and influential leader in your field.

Success Works believes that mentoring is an enormously effective and beneficial process for women affected by the criminal justice system. We acknowledge the essential and valuable contribution mentors make in providing support and empowerment to women who are committed to seeking, securing, and maintaining employment. We are currently looking for new mentors. Could you change a woman’s life?

We are currently looking for new Mentors. Could you change a woman’s life?


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