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On the 09th February 2022, the mentors and mentees got together for their speed-dating event at Bryte’s offices for the kick-off of the RISE 2022 Mentorship Program.

The 2021 RISE Pilot Program proved to be a huge success and has grown from 9 Mentors / Mentees last year to 15 this year!

It is refreshing to see so many young-talent entering this industry. The Mentees that have joined the RISE 2022 Mentorship Program all have the same thing in common – they are hungry. They are hungry to learn and make a success of their careers.

The definition of mentoring is “a relationship and set of processed where one person offers help, guidance, advice, and support to facilitate the learning or development of another person.” With this at heart, the Mentors dedicate their time and resources to share their experiences, knowledge, and skills with the Mentees.

The pairing was done and announced on the 14th of February 2022.

RISE stands for Redefining Individual Skills & Education and that is exactly what Linda and Jenna at Linda Coetzee & Associates do.

We sat down with Linda who has more than 30 years of industry experience in training and coaching to see what she had to say about the program:

1. Describe the RISE2021 Pilot Program in three words

[LC] The 2021 RISE program was pioneering, inspirational, and exceeded all expectations

2. Mentees must motivate their involvement in this program to their line managers. What

would you consider are the benefits for Mentees and their companies to join this


[LC] Mentees benefit in the following ways:

  • Improved self-confidence

  • Development of business expertise and technical knowledge

  • Advice on the best study path

  • Receive support and reassurance

  • Create networking opportunities

  • Explore innovative career paths

  • Gain insight into organizational dynamics

  • Create better work/life balance

  • Learn from leaders who have learned from their own mistakes

  • Have access to other leaders and role models

  • Industry networking

  • Exposure within the organization and industry

3. How can companies develop informal or formal mentorship programs within their


[LC] Start by identifying leaders who are willing to share their time and knowledge with the

young talent in the organization - they will be the mentors. Then identify individuals

who want to accelerate their organizational growth and are willing to receive feedback

(or tap into your pool of interns and graduates) - these will be the mentees. Launch the program with briefing sessions for both groups and an activity that will help to pair the

mentors and mentees in the best possible way. Then provide all parties with a

framework for the program and prepare the mentees to present their journey to the

entire group at the end of the program. We suggest the program is a minimum of nine

months and is managed by an external facilitator to ensure impartiality and


4. What characteristics form the ultimate Mentor / Mentee duo?

[LC] The mentor and mentee should have good "chemistry" and should look forward to

their meetings. They also need:

  • Trust

  • Respect

  • Absence of judgment/bias

  • Open, honest communication

  • Vulnerability

  • A safe, confidential space

5. How would you encourage individuals to become mentors in this program?

[LC] Benefits for mentors:

  • New insights and perspectives

  • Personal renewal and self-development

  • Experimenting with communication tools

  • Enhanced professional career identity

  • Positively influence the next generation (leave a legacy)

  • An opportunity to transfer own knowledge to achieve skills sustainability

  • Prove themselves as valuable leaders

  • Expand their professional network

  • Invest in the future of the organization

  • Obtain a fresh perspective on a specific topic

  • Cement their role as subject matter experts

6. Can you share an inspirational story of growth that stands out during your 30years of


[LC] Yes, with pleasure.

Lebo was the receptionist at an insurance company in Johannesburg. She volunteered

for the in-company mentorship program as she was keen to move into another area and

wanted to know what to study and how to grow. We paired her with an HR Executive

and very soon it became apparent that Lebo loved everything about HR. She chose to

start studying in that field and shadowed her mentor as often as possible. Lebo shared

with us that she also admired the style and image of their female CFO so we arranged

with her mentor to let lebo shadow the CFO occasionally too. That way she started to

build her preferred brand.

At the end of the nine-month program, Lebo had grown so much and, three months

later, she was promoted to an HR clerical position. Three years later Lebo is the HR

Administrator and she is now a mentor to the new Receptionist.

IIWC would like to take the opportunity to thank the Mentors for their time, the

companies of the Mentees for giving them the opportunity to join this program, and a

huge thanks to each and every one of our Sponsors.


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