USI Professional Mentoring Programme Plenary Meeting
Institutional Communication Service
20 December 2021
The plenary meeting for the presentation of the Professional Mentoring Programme for female students in their 2nd year of USI Master's was held on 13 December 2021 at East Campus Lugano. The event was organised by the Career Service in collaboration with the association BPW (Business Professional Women), the Equal Opportunities Service and liaison with the Directors of the Masters and the Vice-Rector for Education and Students' Experience, Prof. Lorenzo Cantoni,
At the meeting, reserved to BPW students-Mentees and professionals-Mentors, were present Monica Duca Widmer, President of the USI Council, Boas Erez, Rector of USI, Lorenzo Cantoni, Pro-rector for education and Students' Experience, Sonja Hildebrand, Pro-Rector for Equal Opportunities, Laura Incandela and Monica Pugnaloni, Co-Presidents BPW Ticino, Beatrice Engeler, Ana de Las Heras and Flavia Freitas, members of the Organising Committee of BPW Professional Mentoring at USI.
During the evening, some USI/BPW professional mentoring project figures were presented. The project aims to facilitate the entry of female USI graduates into the world of work through targeted and individual professional advice. The project, now in its second year, was attended by 53 Mentees, Master's students from the five USI Faculties, accompanied by the same number of BPW professionals as Mentors, almost all of whom were present at the networking evening after a year of remote mentoring.
In her introductory remarks, Monica Duca Widmer, President of the USI Council, stressed the importance of mentorship, especially in traditionally male-dominated fields. The President, who holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering, is committed to supporting women's careers in her field. An area that for many years was strictly a male prerogative and that the President hoped would become increasingly diversified in the future, thanks in part to initiatives such as Professional Mentoring.
Rector Boas Erez and Pro-Rector Lorenzo Cantoni also stressed the importance for USI students of benefiting from a mentoring programme as a way of accompanying them towards the world of work and thanked the professionals who make their experience and skills available, providing fundamental support in the transition from academia to their professional future.
Laura Incandela, Co-president of BPW Ticino, finally commented that "for the Business and Professional Women Association, the Mentoring programme carried out in collaboration with USI has given surprising results in line with the association's mission. BPW is an international women's association," he explained, "with a very long history. It was founded in Geneva in 1930 thanks to the intuition and vision of an American lawyer, Lena Madesin Phillips, who immediately realised that women would never achieve equality with men unless such equality was established on an economic basis. BPW's members include professionally active women, who often hold positions of responsibility in business, politics and society, as well as young women at the beginning of their careers. The network of the association is vast; in Switzerland alone, there are 40 clubs. The Ticino Club is growing. At the end of 2021, there will be more than 100 members".