Why Mentoring Matters For Women
2018. This has been the year of #PressforProgress, #MeToo and #TimesUp. Women are standing up for themselves and campaigning for equality and safety in the workplace. And, although they seem to be making some strides, it is still true that a large number of women feel scared to voice their opinions, don’t make it to senior positions in their careers and are paid much less than their male counterparts in similar roles.
Why is that so? It is very truly said that as you move ahead in your career, it is not just what you know that matters, but also who you know. Many successful women like Sheryl Sandberg and Arianna Huffington have spoken about how their mentors have helped them carve a way for themselves professionally. Isn’t it great to have access to a person you can seek advice from, to get help from when you’re in a fix, or to just ask for some honest feedback?
Sadly, studies have shown time and again that women have a harder time networking and finding mentors to help them advance in their careers. Most recently, McKinsey’s and LeanIn.org’s Women in The Workplace study found that women were less likely to receive advice from managers and senior leaders on how to advance, and employees who do are more likely to say they’ve been promoted in the last two years.
For women to be more proactive in their search for a mentor, they need to know how having a mentor will help them. So here are a few benefits of having a mentor:
A MENTOR CAN HELP YOU LEARN THE ROPES
Especially for women who are just starting out in their careers, having a mentor means having a person who has gone through and successfully overcome the initial nervousness and anxiousness of settling into a job. They can always advice you and give you tips about how to navigate common initial teething problems without having to sweat it out alone.
A MENTOR CAN HELP YOU IDENTIFY GAPS IN YOUR SKILL SET
It is not very easy to see what you need to improve on to be more productive at work and get your job done well. A mentor can provide you with useful constructive feedback on your work and choices. As an outsider looking at you, they can also identify the areas you need to work on more, the skills you need to develop to move ahead and even suggest how to acquire these skills easily.
A MENTOR CAN HELP YOU DEFINE SUCCESS
Your idea of career success may be entirely different from that of someone who is senior to you. A mentor gives you an idea of what success means for your job profile given your current skill set. In collaboration with you, your mentor can help define exactly what path you would need to follow towards a more fulfilling career.
A MENTOR CAN BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
It always helps to have the support of someone who can serve as a role model and whom you can trust to correct you if you’re taking a misstep. Once you’re aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you will gain more confidence to voice your problems, express your ideas and take better control of your career.
A MENTOR CAN TEACH YOU HOW TO TAKE FEEDBACK THE RIGHT WAY
The whole mentor-mentee relationship is based on a continuous, healthy and constructive feedback loop. Having a mentor will make it easier for you to accept and act on the feedback you receive even from others in the right spirit. Feedback is great for self-reflection. So it is very important not just to be open to it, but also know how to put it to good use.
A MENTOR CAN GIVE YOU ACCESS TO A GOOD NETWORK
Networks encourage new ideas, gives you the support and tools to pursue them, allows you to expand your influence and exposes you to great opportunities. Having a mentor gives you easier access into a whole new network that you may not have been able to break into that soon.
Convinced that you want to have a mentor?
We're launching a Mentoring program in September and we currently opened the application forms to become a mentee. If you are interested, read more about the mentoring program here and apply there!