All About Gender in Denmark: Mentoring and networks for integration

A waterfront study tour at the Copenhagen Metropolis ( and it’s still day 1… ) led to the Centre for Information on Women and Gender (KVINFO) in Copenhagen’s stunning new national library, the Diamant.  KVINFO offers information and resources on women and society in Denmark, gender research, legislation, women’s history, notable women and much more. KVINFO has also created a unique Mentor Network that pairs up refugee and immigrant women with women who are firmly established members of the Danish society.

KVINFO’s sparkling director, Elisabeth Møller Jensen, started the mentoring program with a vision of Denmark as “one big workplace and network of working women” and a personal letter to 300 professional women across all sectors inviting their participation. Today, KVINFO’s Mentor Network involves more than 4.000 participants all over Denmark, and according to David Clutterbuck – one of Europe’s most respected thinkers in the field of mentoring and coaching – it is the largest of its kind.KVINFO

Why so much success? The KVINFO model was well researched, based on a successful mentoring model for skilled immigrants from Toronto, tweaked by mentoring approach of US private sector business culture, but anchored in the feminist values of mutual recognition, flat interpersonal power structures and a rigorous commitment to openness and inclusion. As staff member Beatriz Hernández remarks “when the concept of “the other” is taken out of the equation, everybody wins.”

We are keeping our eye on the Good Idea! Look out for an announcement from KVINFO about their upcoming Mentoring Conference and work with Denmark’s immigrant entrepreneurs –men and women, too!

Maytree