Evolution of a Cross-year Mentoring Scheme


  • Cornelia Boldyreff University of Lincoln
  • Elizabeth Marie Massey University of Lincoln


mentoring, social networks, lessons learned


In a university department where less than seven percent of the students and staff are women, a sense of isolation can have a detrimental effect on the progression and retention of those female students.& To address issues of isolation, progression, and retention the University of Lincoln's Department of Computing and Informatics (DCI) began a cross-year mentoring scheme in 2005 and has tracked the progress and the changes that this scheme has brought about over the past two years.& Key issues addressed include better support for women students to ensure they successfully complete their studies and progress to successful careers in Computing; raising awareness of the predominantly male staff in the department regarding the impacts on female student retention; raising awareness university-wide about the support provided to female students and transferring the knowledge gained across the university to other departments.& The cross-year mentoring scheme for DCI women students has resulted in a dramatic increase in female student retention.& A 2004 census of students showed that only 25% of female students progressed into their 3rd academic year.& However, in 2006 100% of female students advanced into their 3rd year class.& The mentoring scheme initially focused on students from the year above mentoring students in the year below, and now continues by promoting post-graduate students as mentors.&

Author Biographies

  • Cornelia Boldyreff, University of Lincoln
    Cornelia Boldyreff gained her PhD in Software Engineering from the University of Durham. She moved to the University of Lincoln in 2004 to become the first Professor of Software Engineering at the university, where she co-founded and now directs the Centre for Research in Open Source Software. She has over 25 years' experience in software engineering research and has published extensively on her research in the field. She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a founding committee member of the BCSWomen Specialist Group. She has been actively campaigning for more women in SET since the 1970s.
  • Elizabeth Marie Massey, University of Lincoln
    Elizabeth Massey gained her BSc in Computer Science from Troy State University and her MSc in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology, both in the USA.& She is currently a PhD student in the School of Computer Science studying computer vision techniques applied to medical image processing and is active in WSET, WiC and WiE activities.& She is a committee member of the Lincolnshire BCS chapter and active in BCSwomen.
G S T Logo






Case Studies

How to Cite

Evolution of a Cross-year Mentoring Scheme. (2009). International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 1(1). https://genderandset.open.ac.uk/index.php/genderandset/article/view/31