Why You Should Mentor Women And How It Will Benefit You
We need more women leaders. Period.
When women become leaders, it is not just good for other women, but for everyone. Studies like McKinsey’s Women Matter have shown time and again that when there are more women occupying decision-making tables around the world, better decisions are made.
At Femme Palette, we’ve already explained how mentoring plays a crucial role in building better careers for women and encouraging them to take up more leadership opportunities. Women who are mentored reportedly make more money, get promoted more often and experience greater job satisfaction. And, guess what you could be that person who makes a difference in a woman’s life and career.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A MENTOR?
Many people tend to believe that only a person with a certain number of years of experience can be a mentor. They tend to shy away from being mentors not because they don’t want to help others, but because they doubt if they know enough to pass on. Even if don’t have many years of experience, understand that your journey and learnings will be beneficial for someone who is just starting out or is making a career shift.
Don’t undervalue the experience, skills and knowledge you have picked up to reach where you are now. And, mentorship is not about imparting the latest technical skills, it is more about providing a new perspective and helping others hone their soft skills. So each of you has what it takes to mentor someone else.
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF MENTORING OTHER WOMEN?
All of us are busy navigating many issues and charting our own careers that it can seem daunting to take out time to help someone else’s figure their way out. But an effective mentoring relationship benefits both the mentor and the mentee equally. Here’s how:
Improved leadership skills
As a mentor, you’ll be helping a person look at their skill set in a different light, identifying gaps if any, defining what success means for them and guiding them to emerge a confident, skilled professional. This is, in a way, a preparation to take up a leadership role and influence a person’s decision in a positive way. It, thus, helps you improve not just your leadership skills, but also other soft skills like communication, time management and collaboration.
Increased self-worth and satisfaction
As a mentor, you’re directly making a difference to a person’s career and, thus, their life. You’re helping them understand their mistakes, learn new things, achieve their goals and boost their confidence. Sharing your knowledge and experience and seeing its positive influence on another person’s life will help improve your self-esteem, confidence and overall professional satisfaction.
Learn new skills and get fresh perspectives
As a mentor, you’re most likely going to exchange information with someone younger than you or with someone who has different skills than you do. It is possible that you can learn a lot from their outlook on different things and their methods of getting things done. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. So look at mentoring as a two-way relationship and be open to learning new skills from your mentee as well.
Access to a different network
Of course, your mentee would benefit a lot from getting access to your professional network. But remember that the opposite can also be true. Through your mentoring relationship, you, too, are getting access to a new network of professionals in an age range and/or skill range that you wouldn’t have otherwise been able to mingle with. Being in touch with such a network means that you can continue your skill-building process, get instant access to a talent pool if you’re looking to collaborate and be updated on the latest developments in the industry.
Through the process of mentoring, you’ll get a chance to take a deeper look at your own journey and what you’ve learned till now. It will give you an opportunity to reflect on the choices you’ve made and on your strengths and weaknesses. This will provide you a new bout of clarity through insights into your own learning path and achievements.
Convinced that you want to be a mentor? So what next?
We’re working on the Femme Palette Mentoring Program and you can now apply to be a mentor.
So join the Femme Palette community, get access to an online directory of women professionals and be the first to know when the program goes live.