Many professionals across a range of industries consider mentoring a critical part of their career success. Yet, studies have shown that historically, a surprisingly small amount of women have taken advantage of the many benefits of mentorship.
Fortunately, we’re seeing that change — especially after the challenges and changes that have happened across the globe over the last few years.
Those interested in seeking out the guidance of a mentor may still be wondering how to approach someone about it. Others may not realize they themselves can become mentors — and this relationship can be beneficial to their own success.
Check out our WIR TV episode, “Why Mentorship Is Critical to Success,” as we hear from Nicola Cronin, Head of Engagement at Guider AI; Lisa Ames, CMO at Norwest Venture Partners; Lisa HoLung, Media Director at April Six and Jill Melchionda, WIR Board Member, on the many advantages of mentorships.
Their conversation covers:
- How mentorship is more than just offering advice and having conversations about your life experiences.
- Why being a mentor empowers others to discover their strengths, work with their weaknesses, and set new goals!
- How mentorship can equip mentees with the tools and confidence needed to advocate for themselves at work.
- What it takes to be a mentor and the importance of “reverse mentoring”.
Watch the full recording here!
If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic showed the world, it’s that while solitude may be enjoyable — and sometimes even necessary — we still need to connect with others. And it’s about a lot more than simply having people to interact with.
Having a good community means being around like-minded individuals who get you. A place where you can bring your genuine self to the table. No need to scale back for fear of being labeled as too much, or too loud, or too outspoken. The point is to feel free to be yourself. While this may sound a bit idealistic, once you find it, it’s pretty empowering. How so? Let’s count the ways.
Benefits of Being Part of a Community
There are several reasons why being a part of a community is beneficial. While individual needs may vary, there are some common denominators across the board:
- Sense of Belonging
Feeling like you belong within a group of people is essential for good mental health. This is because having a support network can help you feel motivated when things are going well, and less alone when undergoing difficult times. As a result, you feel connected and are better able to manage stress.
While some individuals may seem like they’re infinite sources of wisdom, the truth is that everything they’ve learned has been a product of their life experiences — including their relationships with others. These experiences make them invaluable resources for advice, constructive criticism, and sharing of knowledge; all of which is crucial to help them — and you — grow as individuals and as professionals.
There are many ways to support one another. This can be done through encouragement to pursue a goal, guidance as we go through new experiences, and maybe even financial — especially at a time of sudden layoffs. As much as we all strive to be independent and self-sufficient, life comes with many surprises. Having a reliable support system is essential to navigate them successfully. For example, you could connect people on LinkedIn to help someone find a new job, or be part of a group that pitches in to assist a friend facing a hardship. Members of a community can also serve as each other’s allies, whether they hear of an opportunity, or to link arms in the quest for social justice.
- Access to Resources
One of the biggest benefits of having a community is that everyone is good at something. Let’s say you all work in tech. Someone may be well-versed on database management, while someone else’s strong suit may be network security. When people work together, all bases are covered, and everyone benefits.
- Professional Growth
Having a professional network also helps you extend your reach for your business, as you refer contacts and business to each other. And since these referrals are done by people who know you, the likelihood of prospects being a good fit is greater. At the end of the day, word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing.
How To Find a Community That’s Right For You
While all of these benefits sound ideal, you may be stumped as to how to find the right group of people. It seems simple to look for, say, people within your industry, but it’s imperative to dig deeper. What are non-negotiables for you? Some factors to consider include:
- True authentic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Experience with innovation
- Giving back to the community
The next step is to narrow down your options by exploring your interests. Are you looking to forge a community around one of your hobbies? Find people with whom you can discuss work woes and accomplishments? If it’s the former, look for groups with common interests, such as running groups or book clubs. If it’s the latter, opt for networking events — whether it’s ones created to amplify women’s voices, offer mentorship, and/or foster diversity.
At Women in Revenue, we recognize the value and power of community, and we proudly support women in revenue-generating roles. Read about what we offer, and browse through our resources and events. You may just have found the kinship you’ve been looking for.
During Dreamforce 2022, Women in Revenue joined forces with Demandbase for a fun and enlightening evening event at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hundreds of people converged on this iconic location to meet with like-minded revenue leaders and delight in contemporary art galleries, craft cocktails and insightful conversations.
In addition to the networking, Women in Revenue pulled together a panel session with top executives and allies to discuss the importance of mentorship and allyship to power forward with a stronger sense of confidence and support…
A Dynamic Due of Two Ships: Mentorship and Allyship
Whether you think the glass ceiling is broken or not, one thing remains certain – women supporting women and allies supporting women makes all the difference to our individual and collective success. In a world where the right relationships can determine your access, inclusion, belonging and promotion the “ships” of Mentorship and Allyship are the vessels that will carry you over the life of your career and are even more vital for women and other underrepresented groups.
The person in your ear and corner along with the power of an ally in the room using their power for you when you aren’t even present is key to every woman navigating the ladder! Just knowing she’s not alone as she works her way up is rocket fuel for forward momentum.
Hear from from WIR’s Executive Director, Deanna Ransom as well as Lydia Flocchini – CMO @ SurePoint Technologies, James Gilbert – CMO @ Flip, Deb Rapson – SVP of Sales @ Leadspace, and Edward Avila – Vice President, Talent Acquisition @ Alation as they discuss:
- Understanding and unlocking the power of a mentor
- The role and responsibilities of an ally
- The difference between a sponsor and an ally
- Why the right mentor and ally really matter
- How mentorship and allyship work together for greater success
- Top insights for recognizing and selecting the right mentor and ally
Here’s a link to watch a video of the panel.
Here’s a link to see the storyboard of the session that was created live onsite