Mentorship for statisticians

Mentorship for statisticians panel members

In a packed conference room at Carleton University on the last morning of the recent annual Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) meeting, the invited panel session organized by the women in statistics committee was held on the topic of mentorship for statisticians. Thérèse A. Stukel (ICES/University of Toronto) served as the panel session organizer and moderator and panelists included Erica E. M. Moodie (McGill University), Beatrice Baribeau (Statistics Canada), Jennifer McNichol (University of Victoria), Karen Kopciuk (Alberta Health Services), and Kathryn Mills (Canada Revenue Agency).

The panel members addressed these specific topics before opening the session to questions from the audience:

1. What is the role of the mentor? What is not the role? What are important issues that can be addressed within a mentoring relationship?

2. What are attributes of a good mentor? mentee?

3. What constitutes a good framework for a mentoring relationship?

4. How can institutions promote good mentorship?

5. Were there barriers you faced, and how did you overcome them? What specific barriers might women and minorities face as they embark on a mentorship role, and how might one overcome them?

6. How did working from home (WFH) modify the mentor-mentee relationship?

7. Tips on how to get a good mentor.

8. What motivated you to become a mentor?

The discussions were lively, and perspectives were shared on different mentorship roles, such as formal and informal ones, mentees/mentors in different/same department, and examples of workplace mentorship programs. The SSC Mentorship Program for accredited members was an example that has been successfully implemented for several years. Details on this program and other resources are given below.

A lingering question is whether the SSC implement a mentorship program for its members, and if so, how could this be carried out?

The women in statistics committee would love to hear your suggestions. Please email them to

Mentorship resources:

SSC Accreditation Mentorship Program:

Government of Canada:

An Eight-Step Guide to Creating and Sustaining a Mentoring Program (by Eric Vance et al.) 

Michigan State University, Office of Faculty and Academic Staff Development

National Academies: The Science of Effective Mentorship in STEMM:


Thursday, June 29, 2023

Liaison Newsletter: