Our Return to Work Mentoring Scheme has been set up to support people back to work following a period of maternity, adoption or shared parental leave. This provision aims to make the transition back to work easier by matching individuals with mentors who have experienced it themselves and are able to support based on their own real life experiences. We hope the benefits of this will be wide ranging – for both mentees and mentors and also our University more widely in terms of enabling and supporting our talent. The guidance document provides some further information.
What do I do next?
If you feel that this could be of benefit to you, please identify based on the profiles below which mentor you feel is best placed to support you. To set up a mentoring relationship, please contact a mentor directly (by clicking on their profile picture) to introduce yourself and check their availability. Please note a mentor needs to be someone from outside your own area. If you would like to discuss the support you need or your choice of mentor in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact the People & Organisational Development Team on POD@leedsbeckett.ac.uk or call x25438.
Review and Evaluation
At the end of the mentoring relationship the process and impact will be reviewed by both parties via confidential questionnaires. As this scheme is new, this aspect is particularly important to us.
Work Pattern: 3 days per week, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
I have one daughter, born in March 2014. I took 14 months of maternity leave (including accrued holiday). I worked full-time before my maternity leave and I returned to work, in the same role working 3 days a week. My daughter attends nursery for 2.5 days a week (with granny helping out for half a day) and I do the majority of drop offs and pick-ups. I was fortunate to feel well supported during my return to work and to have colleagues who are also balancing work and caring for their children.
I have two young children, my son was born in 2011 and my daughter in 2013. I took a year off work following the births of both of my children and returned to work on a part-time basis. I initially returned to work 3 days per week and then reduced my hours further following the birth of my daughter. I have had two very positive experiences of the University's Maternity and Flexible Working processes and would be happy to share my experiences with colleagues returning to work.
I have worked at Leeds Beckett University since November 2015. I have a great job share partner, this was a new working pattern for both of us so I am happy to share my experiences of us setting up a job share arrangement and how to make it work for everyone involved. I have 2 sons, one born in 2010 and one born in 2014 who keep me very busy outside of work. I was lucky enough to take my full maternity leave for both my boys, so I understand the challenges of returning to work after a long "break", as well as juggling a part time career around my family.
Work Pattern: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 8am - 4pm
I have 1 child and returned to work when he was 10 months old, I am able to provide practical support on what it's like to return to work following parental leave and am willing to share my experience. I returned to the same role however I used to work full time and I now work 22.5 hours per week (3 days), our son attends nursery and is also looked after by a grandparent. Returning to work took a bit of an adjustment, however it was much more straightforward than I imagined and I enjoy being able to combine working and looking after our son.
I have 1 daughter in primary school. I had 10 months maternity leave at my previous institution, returned to work on slightly reduced hours for a few months, and have been working full-time for the past few years. My husband also works full-time and we have juggled the nursery / school run between us. I am in a managerial / strategic role and (mostly) enjoy the challenges of balancing career progression with being a parent.
I have 2 children, a boy born in 2009 who is at school and a girl born in 2013 who is in nursery. I took 12 months maternity leave and returned to work from my last period of leave in 2014. I manage staff and budgets and am happy to support on a range of issues.
I'm an academic member of staff. I've been on maternity leave twice over the last 5 years. I returned to work full time and my children were 7 and 9 months old at the time of returning. I continued to breastfeed both children after my return to work. I was a course leader when I left to have my first child. I am a PhD student and suspended my studies to have my second child. I have experience of having to find full time childcare in Leeds.
UG Course Director, Principal Lecturer - Nutrition and Dietetic Group, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences
Work Pattern: Full time
I have 3 children, 2 girls and a boy born in 2008, 2010 and 2013. I have had 3 lots of maternity leave employed by the University and each was between 9 months to a year in duration, with additional annual leave added on at either end. I have been back at work since September 2014. I have returned to full time work after each of my periods of maternity leave. I drop the children off at school and my husband does pick up.
Work Pattern: Job-share. Monday - Wednesday, 18.5 hours
On my return to work I reduced my hours from full-time to 16 hours job-share. Although my daughter was born in 2000 and my son in 2001, I would be happy to share my experiences of the challenges I faced with having 2 children quite close together in age and no family support within easy reach.
Working Pattern: Wednesday - Friday, 22 hours per week.
My daughter was born in February 2015 and I returned to work in January 2016 following 12 month's maternity leave. On my return to work I reduced my hours from full time to 22 per week and started a job share. This working pattern was new to myself and my job share colleague but we quickly established ways of making it work effectively. Returning to work following a long period of leave can be daunting but I found keeping in regular contact with my manager and colleagues really helped in making my return and transition into a working mum very smooth.
I came back to work when my son was 6. I know something about the various ways of trying to balance life and work, and am happy to share my experiences and support colleagues trying to find the right balance for them.
Pattern: Monday and Friday
8am -2.30pm. Tues,Weds,Thurs 8am - 5pm.
I adopted my son 5 ½
years ago at 18 months old, so returned to work 4 ½ years ago.
I found returning very difficult and stressful, as I was returning to work to
a different role than the one I left. There were additional issues that were
related to adoption, building up attachment with an adopted child is so important and
I worried how us being separated was going to effect that.
I have three children; my son born in 2007 and I have two daughters
born in 2009 and 2015.
I was at a different organisation when I had my first two
children and I was working at Leeds Beckett when I had my youngest
daughter. My experiences of maternity
leave were very positive. I took 6
months leave for my eldest child and 10 months for both of my daughters.
My husband and I manage the school/nursery runs between us,
the two eldest go to after school
club and my youngest daughter goes to Nursery.
Working pattern: Compressed
hours (35.5 hours compressed within 4 days)
I have two wonderful children
(born 2009 and 2011). I returned to work full time, after nine months,
after having my son and reduced my hours (slightly) after having my daughter,
returning after 13 months off. My daughter is disabled and has faced a
collection of additional challenges from birth including a hearing
impairment. It has therefore been a juggling act to coordinate my
daughter’s hospital appointments and working life. After having my daughter I
returned to my first line management role. I use a childminder now that
both children are at School and I am glad of my flexible working arrangement.
School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality Management
Work Pattern: Full-time
I have two children: a daughter born in 2011 and a son born on Christmas Day 2013. With both children I took about 7 months’
maternity leave. In the time since I returned to work I have experience of making different working patterns successful around child care and school: working just less than full-time over 4 days, over 5 days and full-time. Just over a year ago I also became a school
governor in the hope that I can use my skills, knowledge and experience to try
to secure a positive educational experience for local children.
have one daughter Norah, born June 2015. I had 11 months' maternity leave after
which I returned to work 4 days a week. My daughter attends a childminder on
these days. Not having any family living nearby means my husband and I have to
juggle drop off and pick-ups –which can sometimes be a challenge. Happy to
share my return to work experiences both
positive and negative.
Are you a new manager looking to enhance your skills and performance in the role?
If so, our mentoring scheme for newly promoted managers may be of interest to you. This scheme aims to support individuals when making the transition into a managerial role by matching them with a more experienced manager who can provide mentorship based on their own real life experiences.
Ed Stout shares his experiences of the Scheme
What is involved?
Our proposed mentoring structure outlines one meeting per month over a period of six months. This is of course open to individual discussions and agreement between mentors and mentees themselves – essentially it’s whatever is reasonable and works for each individual partnership.
The mentor is there to provide additional support to that offered by line managers and will be taken from a different area of the University so as to provide an objective and confidential sounding board. Mentees will be expected to commit time and effort to the development process and take care of arranging the location and dates for meetings.
The People & Organisational Development (OD) team will match mentees with mentors and provide development advice as required. They will also evaluate the process after 6 months from the perspective of both the mentee and mentor.
For further details please click on the attached guidelines.
What can I discuss?
The purpose of the scheme is to support your transition into a management role and enable you to gain advice on any issues or challenges that you might be facing. Mentees may want to ask about:
• their mentor’s past experiences of leading and managing and any effective strategies that they developed that were successful
• any issues and challenges that they are facing
• possible strategies to overcome problems and avoid common mistakes
• any further resources and support that may be available
How do I request a mentor?
If you would like to request a mentor or have any questions about the scheme, please contact POD@leedsbeckett.ac.uk
I found it really useful to be able to talk to someone who is a little removed from my area of the University. My mentoring sessions were productive, helpful, open and honest, and of huge support to me during my first year of being a manager.