Career advancement should be made available to all employees, regardless of gender. In particular, women employees benefit most from mentorship when it comes to advancing their careers. These are 5 reasons why mentoring can help women grow at work.
During the second Conversations on Women’s Development dialogue which was held virtually by the Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations, a participant said that formal and informal mentorship and support networks in the workplace would provide a boost to women in their career development.
According to the Minister of State for Social and Family Development Sun Xueling, formalizing mentorship programs in organizations could help develop a pipeline of women leaders. Even though this dialogue was held in 2020, its significance remains relevant today. Read along to find out the benefits of mentorship in the workplace for women.
Simply put, a mentor is someone you can look up to and who will encourage you to do better. According to Pat Mitchell, the first female president of CNN Productions, a mentor isn’t telling you what to do. They offer supportive advice, so you have the information and knowledge you need to make your own decision.
As the demands for quality in the workplace increased, TogetherPlatform argued that one mentor wasn’t enough. This is because someone might need different skill sets to advance and one mentor might not have all the skills one needs to learn. Therefore, having several mentors might be helpful when you aim for career advancement or want to switch careers.
“Through such programs, employees, especially women in the company can benefit from exchanges, knowledge sharing, and also plugging into networks, which will be beneficial for their personal development,” Sun Xueling also stated. Let’s check out what are the benefits of having a mentor in the workplace for women employees.
For years, society has expected women to be quiet and unaggressive. As a result, women find themselves doubting their abilities. By joining a mentoring program, women can change this perspective of themselves. A mentor will give them feedback and recognition, Insala stated, and it can boost their confidence.
Women who self-advocate are less likely to be liked, ASCB stated, yet they are expected to promote others, and they should be good at it. Consequently, women are hesitant to discuss their own career ambitions. Joining a mentorship can push them to be more vocal about their goals, especially if they are interested in a leadership role.
Aside from encouraging women to be more vocal about their ambitions, mentorship programs can also be a safe space for them. Especially when the mentors are also women. It is expected that in a mentorship program, women mentees will be more comfortable sharing their problems and resolving them.
The lack of a role model can discourage women employees from getting promoted. Maryann Bruce, the C200 Chair-Elect, told Forbes that, in a male-dominated business environment, women mentoring women helps them cultivate confidence. This way, a mentor is a positive female influence, thus actively encouraging female employees to reach their full leadership potential.
Finally, joining a mentorship program can broaden women employees’ connections. A mentor, especially a woman mentor, can be the bridge between fellow women leaders in the same field. This way, they can share valuable advice, as well as new insights about navigating their career as a woman professional.
An effective mentoring program can lead to women employees’ success. Furthermore, more women leaders can create a diversified leadership team that is open to multiple perspectives, Bruce added. This will hopefully reduce the challenge and lack of female representation at C-level management.
Read Next: 5 Characteristics of Mentor-able Individuals