WILMA is a site through which women in linguistics can find a mentor or mentee for a one-on-one mentoring partnership, or join a group of people with similar concerns who agree to function as a co-mentoring or support group. The site is managed on a volunteer basis by three women in linguistics and is designed to be entirely self-service.

Getting Started

Determine your mentoring needs

WILMA provides two kinds of mentoring arrangements: one-on-one partnerships between a mentee and a more senior mentor, and peer co-mentoring groups in which women at similar stages and/or with similar issues come together for advice and support. You may elect to be both a mentor and a mentee, and you may also choose to participate in one or more co-mentoring groups.

To decide what kinds of things you might need or could offer help with, check the FAQ page.

Sign up to participate

Please read the Policies page first. Once you've read it, go to the Join page, and you'll be asked whether you agree to WILMA's policies before you proceed. You'll then complete a brief online questionnaire about your professional situation and current mentoring needs and preferences. You will also choose a password at this point (be sure to remember it, because you will need it to log in to the site in the future). Once you submit the questionnaire, you will have access to postings for the mentoring arrangement(s) you requested in your questionnaire. Your own information will also be posted on the site for other registered users to read.

To find out if you're eligible to participate in WILMA, see our eligibility FAQ.

Identify a prospective mentoring partner and/or group

Individual Mentoring

Once you've read through the postings for the category in which you're seeking a mentoring arrangement, decide which mentoring partner seems to be the best match for your needs. To contact your prospective partner, click the "Contact" button to the right of the relevant posting. WILMA will then send an automated message to the person you selected to let her know that you've expressed interest in forming a mentoring arrangement with her. She will contact you directly, either to accept your invitation, or to let you know that you should request another partner. (To learn more about the reasons for this procedure, read the FAQ: How will contact be made?)

Group Mentoring

The procedure is as above. Click the "Contact" button on the group you're interested in, and the organizer will be sent an automated message saying that you would like to join. You should hear back from her about the group soon thereafter. (If you don't find a co-mentoring group to meet your needs, you can organize your own group by going to the menu and clicking on "Create a Mentoring Group.")

If you don't find a mentor/mentee who is a good match for you or a group that you want to join, please come back often until you find a suitable mentoring partnership. New listings may be posted at any time.


In order to ensure that as many users as possible are able to get the mentoring they need, we ask that you request only one mentor at a time. However, we encourage you to mentor more than one mentee, if you feel able to do so. You may also join as many co-mentoring groups as you would like; the final decision to admit new members to a group resides with the group organizer.

Remove your posted information

Once you've found a suitable mentoring arrangement, be sure to remove your information from the postings page. To do so, go to the menu page and click on "Modify your account." Change your user status to "inactive." This will remove your information but store it in case you ever want to reactivate it. (If you want to permanently remove your information, please email the webmaster and let her know.)

You can edit your personal information; see the Personal Information section of the FAQs.

Individual Mentoring

Individual Mentoring includes both mentor and mentee requests. You will be allowed to choose one or both types when you register. Upon registration, you will be allowed access to the mentor/mentee pages by entering your password.

  1. Choose a mentor/mentee from the list.
  2. Click "Contact" and an email message will be sent to the person you choose from the postings.
  3. The mentor/mentee, upon receiving your email, will respond to your request.
    • If the response is negative, simply search the postings again to find a new match and try the process again.
    • If the response if positive, you can begin your mentoring relationship!
  4. Once you've found a suitable mentoring arrangement, be sure to remove your posted information from the postings page. To do so, go to the menu and click on "Modify your account."

The steps are diagrammed below.

Individual Mentoring Flowchart

Group Mentoring

GROUP Mentoring allows you to join an existing group, or to create a group to your own specifications.

  1. Choose an existing group, or organize a new group.
  2. Organizer: Plan your group topic and parameters, then post the new group on WILMA. You will receive email requests when participants wish to join your group.

    Participant: Select a group that is of interest. If you meet the group parameters, click "Contact." Your group organizer will be in touch with you to let you know if there is space for you in the group.

  3. Organizer: When you have enough participants in your group, be sure to remove the posting from WILMA. Begin your mentoring group!

The steps are diagrammed below.

Group Mentoring Flowchart