Mentoring has been around since the Odyssey. Most people are familiar with the tale of Odysseus returning from the Trojan Wars to find that his old friend Mentor had supported his son Telemachus, during his long absence. However, are you also aware than Mentor was actually the Goddess Aphrodite in the guise of Mentor? So the first mentor was actually female!
Formal mentoring became most visible with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters programme in New York in the 1920s and mentoring soon became an important part of the US corporate development scene. In the 1980s and 1990s it became more popular in the UK with the Labour Government using it extensively post 1997 as a tool to deal with “remedial” school children, unfortunately not a move which endeared it to all the parents at the time. Continue reading