The Benefits of Near-Peer Mentorship for Mentors

Welcome to OneUpOneDown, your hub for transformative mentorship experiences designed for women in business and technology. At OneUpOneDown, we believe in the power of near-peer mentorship as a catalyst for ongoing personal and professional growth. In this blog, we delve into a research paper that sheds light on the unexpected benefits of near-peer mentorship in STEM fields, emphasising its relevance to our unique approach at OneUpOneDown.

Research Insights:

The research paper titled ‘Near-peer STEM Mentoring Offers Unexpected Benefits for Mentors from Traditionally Underrepresented Backgrounds’, authored by Gloriana Trujillo and team, explores the challenges faced by underrepresented groups in STEM and the role of effective mentoring in overcoming these barriers. It highlights the significance of near-peer mentoring, a strategy that pairs individuals slightly more advanced in learning with those less advanced. This approach, implemented through informal and formal mentorship programs, has shown remarkable results in supporting underrepresented undergraduates in their journey through STEM education.

Benefits to Mentors:

While the benefits of mentorship to mentees are widely acknowledged, the research uncovers unexpected advantages for mentors themselves, particularly those from historically underrepresented groups. Near-peer mentors reported a heightened sense of belonging, bolstered science identity, and increased self-efficacy, challenging the notion that mentorship is a one-sided affair.

1. Boosting Sense of Belonging:

The study reveals that near-peer mentors experienced an enhanced sense of belonging within their STEM majors and the scientific community. Overcoming negative perceptions and imposter syndrome, mentors found fulfillment in shaping programs and contributing to their communities, fostering a deeper connection to their academic environment.

2. Bolstering Science Identity:

Mentors demonstrated marked improvements in their scientific identity, recognizing their competence, and gaining confidence in their ability to guide others. Through mentoring, they discovered valuable experiences and unique insights that positioned them as effective mentors and contributors to academia.

3. Building Self-Efficacy:

The reflections from mentors in both informal and formal mentoring programs showcased an increase in self-efficacy. Mentors reported greater confidence in their scientific research skills and leadership abilities, illustrating the empowering nature of near-peer mentoring on mentors’ personal and professional growth

Impact on OneUpOneDown’s Mission

This research aligns with OneUpOneDown’s mission to empower women through mentorship. The unexpected benefits for mentors highlighted in this study reflect our own observations of the value mentors experience by participating in near-peer relationships. By integrating the principles of near-peer mentorship, our mentorship platform creates an environment where mentors and mentees mutually contribute to each other’s growth


The research paper not only underscores the effectiveness of near-peer mentorship in addressing diversity and retention issues in STEM but also emphasizes the reciprocal nature of the mentor-mentee relationship. As we continue to champion women in business and technology through OneUpOneDown, this research serves as a beacon, guiding us towards a mentorship model that fosters empowerment, belonging, and professional development for all involved.


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