FEW Members Grow Professionally with Mentoring Program

As a federal employee, Deana Mastin continually looks for growth and leadership opportunities.

So, she joined Federally Employed Women (FEW) and continues to leverage the organization as a tool to build her career.

She recently graduated from FEW’s Mentoring Program, which taught her teamwork, leadership, and decision-making skills.

“It was a valuable experience,” said Mastin, who is a Program Specialist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). “I was able to work with women from several different FEW chapters throughout the U.S., at various career levels, and work with FEW National Board executives. It provided a safe space and dynamic learning experience.”

FEW’s Mentoring Program is a competitively selective mentor and mentee training opportunity for members who aspire to become effective leaders within the organization or at work and build their professional network for career advancement in the Government. The one-year program pairs applicants with a senior leader in the Federal Government.

There are focused area requirements and learning objectives that must be completed to obtain the full benefit of the program. Participants receive additional development through webinars, guest speakers, and completion of a team project.

“I would recommend FEW’s Mentoring Program to others, as I have in the past,” Mastin said. “I recommended it to our former Chapter President who is now currently enrolled. I would motivate members to participate by encouraging them and explaining that this is a leadership program offering personal career building skills (e.g., interviewing, resume-writing, and creating individual development plans ) and a variety of leadership activities (i.e., presentations, public speaking, team-building, leading change).

According to a recent survey, 63% of women report that they’ve never had a formal mentor in their career. Fortunately for FEW members, mentoring is only one of the benefits the organization offers to help members advance their career goals.

FEW provides training with knowledge about the federal system, career development and planning techniques, personal effectiveness, and awareness of the broader issues that impact women. In addition to mentoring, FEW provides member opportunities to network and develop mutually beneficial, professional relationships that help build careers. Members can also benefit from community outreach at the chapter and regional levels, giving back to communities, and sparking fellowship among members.

“FEW has provided me with the opportunity to gain skills that my regular job did not through participating in projects, teams, public speaking, developing presentations, leading people, building coalitions and planning,” Mastin said. “By providing these opportunities in a safe and dynamic learning space, I have been more motivated to take risks and challenges when others were not willing; to encourage others to take a chance and ‘do it afraid’ while standing beside them.”

As President-elect and former Vice President of FEW’s Seas and Skies Chapter at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Mastin said she has learned some very important lessons about her career: “ ‘It’ starts with me. How I show up, step up, and pull up others. No one can do it alone. You have to be vulnerable and humble enough to ask for help when you need it. You have to recognize the strengths others have and encourage them to use those strengths, know their value, and be willing to ‘take a seat at the table.’”

If you could use a professional boost or assistance in developing more focused career goals, join our community today. We can do more together. The new cohort for the 2023 Mentorship Program will begin later this year. Look for an email from FEW about the open application process, coming soon. If you have questions about FEW’s Mentoring Program, contact mentoring@few.org.

Getting More With FEW

FEW helps more than one million women in the military and civilian workforce become strategic leaders with its four-pillar program: training, legislation, diversity and compliance. Since 1968, the nonprofit has advocated for equity and diversity for women. FEW works for the advancement of women in the Government with cutting-edge training, nationwide networking and invaluable insight.

The non-profit advocacy group offers a legislative benefit by representing federal employees’ concerns before legislative and judicial bodies. FEW also recognizes congressional members who support our agenda.

In addition, FEW develops strategies to identify and eliminate barriers, while increasing diversity by examining demographics of the workforce. The organization also works with federal agencies to help deliver a more equitable and diverse workforce. FEW’s compliance efforts allow it to monitor the progress made by the Federal Government.