Voluntary career mentoring for immigrants started as Womento for women in 2011, when the Family Federation of Finland launched the project for women with higher education degrees who have immigrated to Finland. The projects objective is to support these women and provide them with necessary networks of Finnish working life and to deepen their knowledge of practices in their professional field.

Since 2016 career mentoring is also open to men in mixed mentoring groups (ProMento). Men can mentor men and women can mentor women.

For educated immigrants it is often very difficult to find a job equivalent to their education. This is due to the fact that high-educational sectors contain mainly professional tasks, which require a good knowledge of Finnish, as well as confidence in the employee's ability to perform the required tasks. For educated immigrants it is often difficult to prove their skills in their own field without references or networks.

Career mentoring through Womento and ProMento aims to strengthen both professional and social networking among immigrants and Finns.  The project improves society's capacity to absorb educated foreign-born professionals  to become part of the Finnish working and daily life, and supports the inclusion of immigrants in general.

The core function is a voluntarily acting mentor-mentee pair. The project coordinators are responsible for finding a mentor for a mentee (a foreign-born person who seeks employment in her/his own field of expertise).  A mentor can for example help with CV preparation, or the pair can discuss Finnish working culture or practice special Finnish vocabulary relevant to their profession. Every pair works in their individual way but the leading idea is shared profession.

The project arranges three meetings in groups consisting of up to 15 pairs. The aim of these meetings is to coach pairs in their mentoring work and to provide peer support among the group. All the activities are free of charge for the participants and voluntary. Womento and Promento also support the pairs in their work providing also individual counseling if needed. The project arranges also some supplementary activities to strengthen the job search skills, for instance training how to use social media skills for finding a job.

To become a mentee, one needs to:

• be an educated man or woman who has moved to Finland
• have the sufficient knowledge of Finnish to the extent that one can work with a mentor
• be ready to commit to the project for 6 to 8 months

To become a mentor, one needs to:

• be an educated, open-minded working man or woman
• be ready to give support to a professionally trained immigrant man or woman for 6 to 8 months

 

Womento is funded by Finland's Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations, STEA.

Womento and Promento programmes are conducted in Finnish. Don't worry about whether or not your Finnish language skills are good enough. Take this opportunity to practice and improve your Finnish!

More information:
womento(at)vaestoliitto.fi
Join our FB-group here.