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Shattering Mentorship Myths: Empower Your Career in 2024!

Happy New Year! Looking to elevate your career in 2024? Discover how our Women in Revenue Mentorship Program can transform your professional journey. 

Being a women revenue leader comes with an immense amount of pressure. The need for mentorship is consistently a top three challenge cited by our members, and one of the primary reasons women join our community.

The genesis of Women in Revenue stemmed from a shared challenge our founders faced: the scarcity of accessible mentors and role models. Recognizing their own growth and capability, they were inspired to establish a platform where they could offer the guidance and support they once sought.WIR board chair Debe Rapson said, “After enduring years of frustration in my search for a female sales mentor, as a co-founder of Women in Revenue, I felt compelled to join forces with Jill Melchionda to establish a mentorship program dedicated to providing women with the necessary skills, guidance, and networking opportunities to advance their careers.  Through our collaboration, we’ve not only become friends but also mentors, fostering a supportive community that encourages women to thrive in their professional journeys.” 

A CNBC study found that 90% of workers who have a mentor report being happy in their job. Women specifically have more to gain from mentorship. The Berkeley Haas School of Business found that women who have mentors get more promotions, are paid more, and are happier at work. 

So why do only 30% of women in revenue have a mentor?

Navigating uncharted territory as the first woman in your role can make finding a mentor challenging. However, the landscape is evolving. Our organization’s expansion is a testament to the increasing presence of women in top-tier revenue positions. Despite this progress, enduring myths about mentorship often deter many from seeking or providing support. Addressing these challenges head-on, the WIR Mentorship Program is meticulously tailored to empower women in revenue roles, overcoming these common obstacles.

Now let’s shatter those mentorship myths!

 

Myth #1: All mentors are highly experienced in their roles and careers 

Not true! Anyone can be a mentor or a mentee at any point in time. Even just a few years into your career, you may have the experience to help someone starting their career or switching to a new career. Also, your experience doesn’t always need to match the exact work experience of your mentee. Often mentees are just looking for role models who have been through similar challenges or even have advice for balancing work and life at their career level. 

Seasoned mentors also remind us that you don’t need all the answers to be a mentor. Your mentee might just need someone to listen, or to point them in the direction of help. WIR Mentorship Committee Co-Lead Danielle Wegenstein said, “Even if I can’t help someone, I’m always thinking about who else in my network could.”

 

Myth #2: Mentorship is a time commitment

It doesn’t have to be. Committing to be a personal mentor can take up time, but most mentors consider it time well spent. Mentees worried about the time commitment should be thoughtful about what they need from a mentor and mindful of their time. However, not every mentor relationship needs to be a long-term, deep, relationship. Sometimes you just need the answer to a question, advice on navigating an issue, or tips on your resume. 

That’s why the WIR program includes multiple depths of mentorship and multiple ways to connect with other women in revenue. 

Danielle Wegenstein added, “Our vision for WIR is to create a dynamic hub where mentorship is always within reach, regardless of where you are in your career journey. This is why we’ve cultivated a variety of platforms to foster connections among women. Our vibrant Slack community is just one of the many avenues available for guidance and support.”

 

Myth #3: Mentorship only benefits the mentee

Mentorship is a relationship with benefits for mentors and mentees. An often overlooked benefit of mentorship is the leadership and satisfaction that mentors gain. A recent study found that 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered by the relationship and reported greater confidence and career satisfaction. Mentors also see positives in their careers. A study by Gartner and Capital Analytics found that mentors are promoted six times more often.

WIR mentor Carolyn Horrell said about her experience mentoring, “Being able to mentor three women through Women in Revenue is an honor. The mentoring program enables me to listen, give back, learn from the mentees, and ask questions along with suggesting ideas on how I might handle that situation. 

As we know different generations bring different points of view, I grow from what they share with me.  I have also learned to be a better leader to my team members.  I share the Women in Revenue’s webinars, job boards and articles, and look for ones that are relevant to their situations.  I encourage women to join the organization and leverage the rich materials.”

WIR Mentor Amy Welsh added:  “Giving back is deeply purposeful and personal to me at this point in my career. Participating in Women in Revenue’s Mentorship Program offered me an opportunity to enable and empower women, who are at different stages in their professional journey.”

 

Myth #4: Mentorship is solely focused on significant, long-term career challenges in a 1:1 setting.

Mentorship can be a long term relationship or just weeks. It can take the form of live, one-on-one meetings, or small group learning sessions. Don’t be deterred from mentorship if you just need short-term advice. 

We understand that our members’ needs may vary when seeking career help. WIR’s goal is to put you on the path to success in whatever way works best for your life and career. That’s why WIR’s mentorship program is designed for the needs of women leaders and emerging leaders in revenue. 

 

WIR’s mentorship options are:

  • 1:1 – This traditional mentorship approach involves a sustained, long-term relationship, enhanced by our innovative online matching platform. This tool pairs mentors and mentees based on specific skill sets and also streamlines communication and scheduling, making the mentoring process more efficient and tailored to individual needs.
  • Flash – A one-time, 60-minute call on a specific topic such as “Surviving a Layoff: Goal-setting” or mock interview prep. You come away with immediate, actionable steps and advice. 
  • Huddles – These are small group sessions with 5-8 women and a subject matter expert. Typically they include two, 90-minute sessions on topics of interest within our community. Previous huddle topics include “Building Your Personal Brand” and “Habits of Successful Managers.”
  • Slack – Don’t forget the active Slack community which includes thousands of your peers active and participating who are experienced and willing to help. Not to mention dedicated channels such as #advice-strategyandrecommendations where members can post anonymously.

Imagine a vibrant community where everyone has the opportunity to grow, either as a mentor or a mentee. That’s the heart of our initiative. Whether you choose the personalized 1:1 format or the brisk, focused Flash program, there’s a place for you. Beyond that, we orchestrate 3 to 5 dynamic Huddle sessions every quarter, bringing together minds and talents in a collaborative setting. With each email announcement, we open doors to new possibilities. Here, you have the freedom to select not just the nature of the help you seek or offer, but also the time you can dedicate. It’s mentorship, tailored to your lifestyle and professional aspirations.

The mentorship program has brought together many mentors and mentees since its creation. Katie Jones, an Integrations Manager at FTMC found a mentor through WIR. She said, “I sought out mentorship to help me with communication in group settings, listening and problem solving skills, as well as improving my leadership presence. In Amy, I found an extraordinary mentor whose confidence, experience in fostering growth, and kindness have been invaluable. Her mentorship has been transformative, guiding me in effectively measuring both my success and my clients’ satisfaction. I’m deeply appreciative of her investment in my growth.”

Katie’s mentor, Amy Welsh, is a Sales Consultant and Enablement Specialist who was able to pinpoint goals for Katie to work on, and helped Katie to flex her own mentorship skills. Amy said, “Katie is a joy to speak with and is highly motivated to outperform any/all goals! However, like so many of us, measurements for her success were not clearly defined. Katie and I strategized on how to attribute values to her contributions, as well as the approach to take with her boss. Our conversation was exceptionally rewarding (and energizing) in that my experience could benefit a highly successful woman colleague. Overall, women have a lot to learn from each other.  I truly believe that sharing and supporting one another are critical to continued progress for greater representation in leadership, equitable pay, and fostering a safe, caring business environment.”

As we chart exciting new territories, the WIR Mentorship Program isn’t just active—it’s thriving! Spearheading this wave of growth is our new committee chair, Lisa Ames, fresh from our board of visionaries. Under her guidance, expect a blossoming of fresh topics and a surge in mentor recruitment.

In WIR, we don’t just aim for success; we create a legacy of support and growth. Our community’s spirit is encapsulated in paying it forward, a value that shines brightest in our Mentorship Program. Danielle Wegenstein captures this ethos perfectly: “Our community isn’t just a commitment to women; it’s an investment in our collective future.”

Don’t just watch this space—be part of it. Sign up for the WIR Mentorship Program today and embark on a journey that’s as rewarding as it is transformative. Here, your potential knows no bounds. Let’s build this future together! 

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