ISSA, the worldwide cleaning industry association, in partnership with Diversey Care, a division of Sealed Air, established a mentoring program through the ISSA Hygieia Network (IHN) to cultivate the success of women in the jansan industry. Mentors are currently available to be matched with mentees—professionals at any stage in their careers.
IHN is the first women’s network for the global cleaning community. Named for Hygieia, the ancient Greek goddess of good health, cleanliness, and sanitation, IHN provides ongoing education, networking, professional development, and personal recognition awards to women working in or associated with the industry. Membership is open to any woman or man employed in or associated with the cleaning industry.
The IHN Mentorship program provides a wide range of benefits to mentees, including: opportunities to develop new skills; access to independent, objective perspectives; increased confidence in dealing with issues; and assistance in setting and achieving career goals.
“We’re excited to be able to offer [the mentoring] program to individuals within the professional cleaning industry,” said IHN Chairwoman Dr. Ilham Kadri. “The program goes hand-in-hand with our interest in expanding opportunities for women at all levels within our industry. It will teach and empower women with many of the tools and life-skills they need to succeed and reach their full potential.”
A mentor, one of several experienced cleaning and maintenance professionals within IHN, is paired with a mentee seeking professional guidance from someone with more experience than s/he. The mentor and mentee then communicate regularly in whatever ways work best for them to establish and achieve professional goals.
The mentorship relationships are guided by a Code of Conduct, agreed to by the mentor and mentee, ensuring their interactions are confidential. Mentees are asked to send their mentors questions or topics prior to each connection, then follow up with a recap. These actions allow both the mentor and mentee to have a clear understanding of what was discussed, what actions should be taken, and the progress subsequently made by the mentee.
“Having had a mentor myself, I’m a huge advocate of the process,” said ISSA Membership and Outreach Manager Hannah Kennedy. “My mentor elevated my understanding of business practices, such as time management, task management, and assertiveness. This was very early in my career, so I developed a solid work ethic at a young age.”
By joining the IHN and participating in the program as a mentee, you can help build a sustainable future wherein all women and men in the industry are equally empowered.
“Let us never forget that in the cleaning industry, as in every walk of life, women’s rights are human rights,” asserted ISSA Executive Director John Barrett. “Gender equality and the empowerment of women are essential to our sustainable future.”