Mentoring to success

Swire Engage partners with The Zubin Foundation to offer online mentoring services for ethnic minority students and recent graduates.
Swire Engage partners with The Zubin Foundation to offer online mentoring services for ethnic minority students and recent graduates.
The Swire Trust has recently partnered with The Zubin Mahtani Gidumal Foundation to offer mentoring services to students and recent graduates from marginalised ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. Zubin Foundation is a local NGO that supports the city's ethnic communities, and the initiative aims to increase the employability of young job seekers from this sector. The programme calls on the skills of corporate professional volunteers to lead one-on-one online workshops, mentoring participants in a range of skills that will help them find employment and succeed in the workplace. The Swire Trust has enlisted the help of Swire Engage – a platform for Swire management trainees to engage with the local community by working with nonprofits and charities – and more than 30 Swire management trainees have signed up to volunteer mentoring services. The programme commenced in October 2020 and will run until April 2021.
Michelle Lim, who is based in Shanghai, helped coordinate the programme.
Michelle Lim, who is based in Shanghai, helped coordinate the programme.
Swire Management trainees, Michelle Lim and Patrick Swire, are members of the Swire Engage committee and have been involved in the programme from the outset. Patrick says the initiative aims to give a leg up onto the career ladder to a segment of society that is often at a disadvantage when first entering the workplace. "We hope to break the cycle of applicants being relatively highly qualified but ending up in jobs that are lower than they could get if they were from a different ethnic profile," he says.

"When Tina Chan of Swire Trust shared this initiative with the team, it really resonated with us" says Michelle. "So far I've conducted a CV workshop with a young Pakistani lady who was struggling to get work experience. It was a fun session where we focused on how to improve her existing CV and discussed her career preferences as well."

"We have a lot of talented, capable and ambitious people and they have a lot of positive energy to bring in this context," says Patrick. "The hope is to make the most of the positive energy and enthusiasm of younger management trainees and convert it into something positive for Hong Kong".
Patrick Swire felt that participants could benefit from early career professionals’ recent experience of joining the workforce.
Patrick Swire felt that participants could benefit from early career professionals' recent experience of joining the workforce.
Patrick hosted a session focusing on interview skills: "We conducted a mock interview, and I provided feedback from the perspective of a potential employer," he explains. "The mentee said that the perspectives I provided were not points she had considered before; she felt confident it would help her develop her interview skills."

Volunteers can also benefit. Some mentors found the sessions inspired them to think more deeply about their own lives and careers. "The sessions provided me with an insight into the lives of those who are under-resourced or marginalised" says Michelle, recalling a mentee who needed to balance study with the responsibilities of being a carer. "It really humbled me to be reminded that a normal day for her and many like her can be quite taxing." Patrick adds: "It felt great to be able to give back to the local community through a work-related activity, and our discussion of what employers are looking for in an employee allowed me to reflect on my own life in the workplace".
Embracing inclusion

Embracing inclusion

Mentoring to success

Mentoring to success

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