Women are making strides in the workplace. But the progress is not as great as it could be. Many women still struggle to find mentors who have access to the organization’s power structure.
Women often face two difficulties in finding mentors:
- Successful and highly powerful women may resist mentoring another women for fear of creating a future competitor within the company.
- Since specific laws govern appropriate behavior in the workplace, men may be reluctant to initiate mentoring a woman for fear of negative repercussions.
Nevertheless, women need a professional mentoring experience, such as women mentoring networks, to give them access to the upper strata of business. Given the unique challenges involved in cross-gender mentoring, it is important to assess your overall goals and the receptivity of available mentors. In addition, it’s critical to address the dynamics of mentoring and how to prevent legal issues.
Despite the challenges involved, professional mentoring remains an important strategic tool for companies to attract and retain a diverse workforce and move that talent throughout the organization where it is needed.
Click here to learn about our specific strategies for mentoring women in the workforce.