What's working and what's not when it comes to male mentoring?
The AMP is excited to announce we have secured a MITACS Grant from the University of Alberta to work with Dr. Phil Sevigny and PhD Student Vincenza Martinovich to explore questions related to helping more male-identified persons get involved in youth mentoring.
The research will convene both internal and external leaders in the mentoring movement to the AMP for conversations and explorations about ways to increase the recruitment of male mentors. This study will identify the barriers or changes to practice that impede male engagement as volunteer mentors.
The goal would be to compile a toolkit or an AMP resource similar to what was accomplished in partnership with the Canadian Women’s Foundation in the establishment of the Girls Group Mentoring Toolkit (mentoringgirls.ca).
While other resources, such as the MENTOR Masculinity Toolkit, are helpful to facilitate conversations about good and bad elements of masculinity, and offer helpful guidance as to how men can better address gender issues, a specific focus on the recruitment of male-identified volunteers, and exploration of various mentoring prototypes or activities that could enhance recruitment would be appreciated by the field.
Across the global mentoring community, there has been a reported gap in male mentors, in particular men of colour, indigenous men, or men of lower socioeconomic status, partially attributed to workforce characteristics. Compounding this challenge is the fact that there are a higher number of boys who are referred for a mentor. This leaves more boys on waitlists with even fewer male mentors available to serve them. Fewer men have been reported to be engaged in parent support agencies, daycare and parent school boards, teaching positions and social services fields.
Different approaches have been explored. Some agencies have adapted their recruitment programs, pictures, videos, and messages to strictly focus on recruitment of Men, as they have noted women still volunteered even with the increased focus on men. (Source: MENTOR webinar)
Some agencies have taken more of a post-gender match approach and are moving towards matches focused on fit rather than gender and are challenging traditional match norms. However, mentoring agencies have reported that parents and the mentees in many cases have requested a same-gender match.
To learn more, please review these external resources in mentoring:
No man left behind. How and why to include fathers in government funded parenting strategies Read