Page 1

Table of Contents

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.� - Winston Churchill

1. Introduction 2 2. Goals for Mentoring 3 3. Guidelines and Communication


4. Danish Labor Laws 5-6 5. Exit Strategies 7 6. Expectations for Mentees


7. Credits 9


Goals for Mentoring

Q-Factor was founded in 2010 to be a catalyst for organizations to obtain visibility, recognition, acceptance and equal treatment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees in the workplace and in society. Its goals are designed around the fundamental truth that workers who feel accepted at their jobs are more successful, productive, loyal and most importantly, happier.

The year long process of mentoring will be defined by your goals for your professional growth. At your first meeting, you and your mentor will make a map of the major goals to be accomplished and any landmarks you might have to pass on the way. This will help both of you keep your eyes on the target and create effective meetings as well as communication. This approach allows you to discuss and progress in a concrete step by step method rather focusing on a vague or overwhelming end result.

In 2011, Q-Factor conducted the Danish LGBT Workplace Survey, which revealed that a large percentage of the incoming workforce does not feel comfortable enough to be open at work. In response to these results, Q-Factor decided to develop the Open Opportunities Professional LGBT Mentoring Program, which aims to increase the comfort and happiness of young LGBT professionals at work as well as help the incoming workforce start their careers in a meaningful and positive way. The Open Opportunities mentor program is designed to encourage comfort and happiness while searching for jobs or during the early part of a young person’s career through a pairing with an experienced mentor. Open Opportunities is the first professional LGBT mentor program in Denmark and hopes to be a viable strategy for both employees and employers to maintain a comfortable, efficient and productive workplace.

Your meetings should revolve around the stated goals while remaining flexible to any questions and changes that might arise throughout the process. The original goals will be set during the first meeting when you will fill out an agreement together with your mentor clearly defining your objectives for the mentoring process. Due to the length of the program and the relative infrequency of face to face meetings, it is encouraged that you and your mentor keep in contact throughout the month to ensure that consistent progress is achieved. This will not only help you stay on track, but will help you developing a trusting relationship with your mentor, as well as providing you with a resource for any pressing questions you may have in between meetings. You will be matched with your mentor through the information that you have provided Q-Factor upon registration to the program. Although we cannot guarantee perfect matches, we will do our best to ensure that your pair is a good fit both professionally and personally. Q-Factor has designated the timeframe for your partnership with your mentor to be one year. We hope that this will be enough time to complete the goals you and your mentor set. We advise you to recognize time as a factor when discussing such goals at the beginning of the project. There is an opportunity to “renew� your pairing for another year if you feel you would like to continue working together.



5. Guidelines and Communication

Danish Labor Laws

As a defining facet of the program, all mentors and mentees will meet once per month at Lambda in Odense for a face to face check in with his or her collaborator. Although this will be the only “mandatory� communication time between you and your mentee, it is strongly encouraged that you remain in contact between meetings. It is up to your pairing to decide the best ways and times to converse. Suggested methods for contact in between meetings are: Email - Phone - SMS - Video chat

The Act on Prohibition of Differential Treatment in the Labour Market contains a prohibition on discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. The Act protects workers from direct and indirect discrimination, meaning discrimination where a seemingly neutral policy actually serves a disadvantage to a particular minority or class.

These are all useful methods to facilitate your interactions and strengthen your relationship. If there are relevant events in between meetings, you may take advantage of these opportunities. For example, if you share an interest in art, a gallery opening could be a relevant event. Job fairs are also highly recommended as events to attend with your mentee. It is important to note that pairs are not allowed to engage in a sexual relationship. It is natural that a friendship could develop, however, this must be clearly defined between the pair and boundaries must be set by both parties. Although it is hoped that both parties will develop a strong, trusting relationship, Q-Factor requests that all contact between you and your mentee remain professional and appropriate for business colleagues.

Unfortunately, there is no Danish law that protects from discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The Danish delegation to the UN has signed a letter confirming the necessity of and advocating for the inclusion of gender identity in non-discrimination laws, but as of this time there is nothing protecting gender identity from discrimination in the Kingdom of Denmark. Cases regarding such prejudice are tried from the viewpoint of sex discrimination or sexual orientation discrimination, but neither of these options encompasses the idea of gender identity fully. This protection applies during all components of the hiring process, time spent at the job, and during dismissal. However, if it is determined that the discrimination exists to serve a legitimate aim, the offending party may be acquitted of wrongdoing by the court. Sexual harassment offenses in Denmark are subject to complicated regulations. In the workplace, inappropriate sexual comments and actions are only deemed discriminatory if the employer has stated so in their written policy. If someone feels their workplace has not complied with these laws, and the issue is of a criminal nature, they are encouraged to contact the police. If the offense is of a civil nature, they are entitled to contact their labor union, if they belong to one, or they may go directly to the court, the Board of Equal Treatment, the Danish Institute for Human Rights, or the Parliamentary Ombudsman.



If bullying has been reported at a workplace, the Danish Working Environment Authority (Arbejdstilsynet) has a clear outline of the measures they will take to investigate the process, the details of which can be viewed on their website, Labor unions are also helpful resources that can be contacted for help and legal aid to resolve employment issues and to improve your working environment. While we have done our best to be thorough in our understanding of these laws, because of the nature of the Danish legal system, these regulations are constantly updated and it is best to consult the most recent version of the legal code if any issues arise. You should feel free to confer with Q-Factor regarding the harassment and discrimination policies of workplaces so that you feel comfortable discussing this with your program partner.

Exit Strategies If for some reason you or your mentor wishes to leave the program or end the partnership before the end of the cycle, the mentor/mentee must notify the coordinators as soon as possible of their intentions. Before your partnership begins its dissolution, the leaving party should alert his or her partner well in advance about the ending of the relationship. You or your mentor must communicate to the other your intentions and the reason why you are leaving. This should be done in person. The mentee or mentor may ask one of the coordinators to be present for this meeting. Due to differing reasons for dissolution of partnerships, the coordinators must be notified first and then the best way to disclose this information to the partner will be agreed. If not present at the meeting, a coordinator must be notified when this discussion has taken place and an email will then be sent to the parties informing them of the formal closure of the match. Try to use the process as a means to recall each other’s progress and strengths, to discuss with your partner what you both have learned, and to look towards positive actions and directions for the future. Should one or both of you wish to remain in the program using a different partner, we will attempt to find you a new match who will better suit your needs and mentoring philosophy. We may ask for your input to decide how we can more effectively pair you. If either party decides to leave the program completely, this person will not be actively contacted again by Open Opportunities Mentor Program, if they wish to return to the program at a later date, they are welcome to do so. Adapted from: Be A Mentor, Inc. Be A Mentor Program, Training Guide for Volunteer Mentors



Expectations for Mentees


As a mentee, one is expected to: •

Participate in the program for a full term of 12 months

Meet with your mentor at least once per month with possible contact in between face-to-face meetings

Respect that mentors are volunteers and not compensated for participation in the program

Accept support and advice from your mentor but also take the responsibility to suggest solutions to your challenges which can be discussed and worked through with your mentor

Respect your mentor’s privacy if they do not wish to be contacted during certain times or on certain days

Honor appointments with your mentor, if an appointment cannot be kept, write or call as soon as possible to alert your mentor

Contact program coordinators if your mentor is not meeting expectations or you feel your partnership is not progressing in a satisfying manner

Update personal contact information, if it changes so that coordinators are always able to contact you

Participate in group meetings

Fill out an evaluation survey at the end of the program


Text and research: Julie Cushing Editing: Becky & Pernille Steckhahn-Strohmer Translation: Susanne Mikkelsen Design: Web Arkitekten v/Kasper Løkke



Open Opportunities Mentee Handbook (EN)  

Handbook for mentees participating in the Open Opportunities Mentor Program. Program and contents copyright Q-Factor.