“A strong mentor can help a young woman find and advance in the career of her dreams that otherwise may have seemed impossible” – Kirsten Gillibrand
Hello SOTGC community,
There are so many reasons why women should become more involved in the mentorship of other women and young girls. With glass barriers and disproportionate salaries, women need all the help they can get in their careers. Research has shown that women who receive mentoring from other women are more confident and self-assured, qualities they need to deal with hostile workplaces. Unfortunately, the majority of women don’t reach out and ask for mentorship. Below are some steps that women can use to find a mentor and gain the most from the relationship.
You must decide what specific skills you want to grow and use.
Once you’ve decided what your goals are, you can more easily pick out the right mentor, one who has strengths in the abilities you want. The woman you pick should also be in a higher position. This will ensure that you get to work with someone who is skilled and has experience.
When looking for a mentor, you shouldn’t focus on people you already know. Get active in events in your community, ones that go hand in hand with the work you want to do. Notice who the women in power are at these events and get to know more about them. By going outside your comfort zone, you can be exposed to people you never thought of asking for mentorship. This will also benefit you when it’s time for your mentor to help you build your network.
Now that you’ve decided who you want to be your mentor, you have to ask. This is the hardest part for those who are shy or don’t like to put themselves out there. Don’t be shy!
The majority of women will be more than happy, even flattered, to be asked to mentor. Start by making an official appointment with the woman and go in prepared! Explain why you chose her and tell her what about her you want to emulate.
Once your mentoring starts, you need to remember that it is still a business relationship. You might become friends with your mentor, but you should always treat her with respect. When she talks, listen. When she gives you advice, consider. And if she gives you constructive criticism, take it into consideration. A mentor isn’t there to compliment you, they’re there to help you find your weaknesses and advise you on how to improve.
As mentioned above, a mentor should always be treated with respect. However, if after a continuous relationship, you become friends, enjoy it! Not only will you have an amazing resource for your career, but you now have a companion who knows about your struggles from experience.
Having a mentor is such an amazing source of information and experience for women trying to make it in the workforce.
While the concept might seem daunting for you at first, if you want to succeed, you really should try to find someone who can help you. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn from the women around you!