Mentoring is an important part of developing a career within the built environment.Read all about it
Mentoring with CREW UK Connects and Kelli Williams
In collaboration with Ladies in Real Estate (LiRE), CREW UK is celebrating one year of mentorship with the launch of the Connects Mentorship Programme 3.0.
After a successful pilot in June 2020, the programme has offered 700+ hours of mentorship with mentors from organisations such as Homes England, CBRE, Deloitte, Grosvenor and British Land. This initiative provides built environment professionals looking to progress access to monthly mentoring sessions with experienced industry leaders. The aim is to create a supportive network and knowledge hub encouraging greater industry collaboration and diversity, not just in leadership roles but across all levels.
CREW UK is a business networking organisation dedicated to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally. G&T director, Kelli Williams, is an experienced project manager who has worked on commercial projects across the UK and has acted as programme lead for CREW UK's mentoring scheme since it began back in 2020.
We sat down with Kelli ahead of the launch to find out more...
Tell us a bit about the programme and what mentees and mentors can expect to get out of it?
"CREW UK Connects first started in June 2020 after we identified there was a gap in the real estate industry for mentoring outside of company-led and discipline-specific mentoring schemes. When the first lockdown happened we also found that many individuals starting out in their career were finding it harder to connect with other individuals for career advice and support outside of their immediate work groups and so CREW UK Connects was launched.
Unlike traditional mentoring programmes where mentees are matched with a mentor for the programme duration, we offer mentees the opportunity to connect with one of our amazing mentors of their choosing each month. Since we first launched the programme it has now grown to include regular virtual (and soon also some in person) networking sessions for the mentees and mentor roundtable sessions where small groups of mentees get to meet with selected mentors."
"My network is invaluable, whether it is for informal advice and support with a project issue from a technical specialist, building cohesive project teams or hearing about potential new projects coming to the market."
G&T Director and CREW UK Programme Lead
Why is developing a network important for those looking to progress within the industry?
"Developing a network is essential for everyone in our industry. Our roles are inter-dependent with so many other disciplines from property transactions all the way through to project delivery and completion. My network is invaluable, whether it is for informal advice and support with a project issue from a technical specialist, building cohesive project teams or hearing about potential new projects coming to the market."
How do you think you have benefited from mentoring during your own career?
"I have benefited from both formal and informal mentoring throughout my career. I started my career in banking and have gone through a number of career changes along the way until I finally found my calling in project management. Having mentors to guide and support me has given me the confidence to take on new challenges and explore opportunities that I may have otherwise dismissed. Having a mix of mentors both internally and externally has given me different perspectives, which I believe has been hugely beneficial. Having been promoted to director in December 2020, the mentoring I receive now has shifted focus to developing my skills for this role and my future aspirations to progress my career as a future leader within the built environment."
What advice would you give to those thinking about taking part in the programme?
"Sign up and get involved! As with anything, you get as much out of it as you put in. We have found the more engaged mentees are the more likely they are to build and maintain long lasting professional relationships, which ultimately go on to support them in their careers.
CREW UK Network offers the opportunity to find success through business connections, leadership development, industry research and career opportunities."
Find out more by heading to its website here: CREW UK - Home