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.
At Management Mentors, the more we research women and mentoring, the more trends we see toward mentoring women in business.
For example, Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) is the first startup accelerator and mentorship-driven program designed for women-founded companies in mobile technology. WIM's goal is to provide women entrepreneurs with the guidance, feedback and connections needed to make their startups best in class companies and formidable business concerns.
“Companies and entrepreneurs that have the opportunity to participate in an accelerator program are given an advantage because of their access to networks and mentoring,” says Kelly Hoey, co-founder and managing director of Women Innovate Mobile. “There are a lot of women entrepreneurs out there but without access to networks, without access to feedback and mentoring and guidance and funding.”
This example of women mentoring other entrepreneurial women is exciting! Although this example is specifically for entrepreneurs, Management Mentors has specific strategies for mentoring all women in the workforce. Mentoring has proven to be a highly effective technique to reduce the barriers to equal opportunity. Management Mentors offers a unique program that helps companies establish mentoring in the context of their diversity initiatives. Contact us today to learn more!Dean Mitchell | Dreamstime.com