Envisage - Academic Navigation for Women

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In November 2017 Ethos Consulting launched Envisage; Academic Navigation for Women.
Envisage connects female academics with high profile women who have had exceptional careers in academia and research.
Not enough women in academia find satisfying mentors throughout their careers. 
This program will eventually connect women in universities and research organisations to a global network of exceptional women; Envisage Mentors.

The Envisage Principles

The principles of Academic Navigation:
  • The paradoxes and competing demands embedded in a career in academia require constant reassessment.
  • Timely decision making based on values and career goals is preferred over drifting and allowing the priorities of others’ to make the decision by default. 
  • While specific advice maybe appropriate at times, powerful mentoring comes more from insightful questions that encourage the mentee to find their own direction.
  • Exploring the circumstances currently being faced from a number of perspectives and deliberating on the behaviours and attitudes arising from what is happening now, provides a firm foundation to determining next steps.
  • A focus on a few key goals that are compatible, is essential to move forward in a crowded, busy life.
  • There are often many paths to a goal.  Discussing the most appropriate options for the individual in a safe, non-judgemental conversation is an indispensable step.
  • When options are explored, actions become clearer, and the role of the mentor is diminished; self-belief grows and confidence takes the place of hesitance.


About Academic Navigation

The Academic Navigation process will be structured to take place in three one-hour sessions.  The sessions will be at least three weeks apart.  There is a structure to the three meetings but there is no script.  The structure will ensure the mentee is well prepared to tackle the goals they are ready to approach with a clear plan.  The process builds awareness and empowers.  The process has an emphasis on building a path forward that is derived from the individual exploring their own options for action, rather than from direct external advice. 

There is of course time for the giving of legitimate advice when charting a career in research and academia. However Envisage Mentors allow ‘breathing space’ and ‘reflection on options’ to ensure the way forward is focused truly on the best option for that individual for this time in their life.

The core of the Academic Navigation Process will take place in three meetings.  However a fourth and fifth meeting may be necessary under some circumstances. The process is flexible to accommodate this need. Carefully planned ‘between meeting assignments’ will ensure momentum is maintained and explorations continues.

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Select Your Preference for Mentor

Prospective Mentees will review the profiles of the mentors on the Ethos website.  They will select their first and second preference.  Ethos will then make contact with the mentor selected and make appropriate arrangements.  The mentor will then make email contact with the mentee. 

An initial pre-meeting will serve to introduce the parties to each other, arrange a mentee strength based survey and organise the three meeting dates.  

Skype or similar technology will be used for most meetings between mentor and mentee, although if mentor and mentee are in the same city, a face to face meeting may be arranged; however this is likely to be the exception. 

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What Academic Navigation is Not!

Academic Navigation is not Sponsorship or Protégé Mentoring where the mentor uses their own contacts and expertise to assist in growing the career of the mentee.

Academic Navigation is not counselling.  It does not seek answers from the past.  The focus of academic navigation is the future.  Goals are set and options explored for moving forward.

Academic Navigation is not just a ‘coffee chat’. There is a structure and process that will assist the mentee after the completion of the process.  There will also often be ‘homework’ for the mentee to advance their thinking between sessions.


Envisage Mentors

All Envisage Mentors are trained and accredited in the Academic Navigation process developed by Ethos Consulting.  All Envisage Mentors will have exceptional academic records and will span disciplines, age groups and background. 

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Most of the Envisage mentors will be women but some men with demonstrated success  and affinity in the mentoring of academic women will be accredited as Envisage Mentors.

All mentors will be paid for their time and commitment to the Academic Navigation Process.


Further information to follow regarding:

How to become a mentor, How to become a participant, How universities and other research organisations enrol multiple participants


For further information contact Mark on +614 18 846 343 or envisage@ethos.com.au