Empowering Women Leaders Through MentoringJanuary 16, 2018
For some women, embarking on a leadership path in their career can seem like a difficult journey. This is because the climb up the corporate ladder is very different for men and women. Although women have made great strides in the workplace, inequality and double-standards still exist, and these types of challenges can stifle a womanís desire to strive for a leadership position. We believe that Steph Webster and Ruki Kurukulasuriya said it best with this quote, ďThe very fact that there are less women in leadership sustains the perception that attaining leadership is hard for womenĒ.
Luckily, there are women who have broken through the barriers and faced these challenges head on to obtain top positions within organizations and many of these women have participated in a mentoring program that helped to empower them. Through the power of mentoring, women are being given the opportunity to not only continue to develop their skills and grow their network, but also to have an example of the possibilities that are out there for them.
Itís reported that women make up 47 percent of the workforce. That means that if women arenít being empowered to be a part of your leadership, you are missing out on nearly half of the candidates that can help your organization thrive. So, the real question is, what can your organization to empower women to participate and succeed in your mentoring programs?
Reduce Bias in Your Organization
A recent study done by the Harvard Business Review found that gender inequality in the workplace is due to bias, not differences in behavior. To reduce bias in your organization, and your mentoring program, it is your responsibility to develop policies that level the playing field for all individuals. These policies can include choosing a more diverse group of hi-potential individuals to participate in your mentoring program that focuses on leadership. This gives women a chance to push forward in their careers where traditionally men have been more present.
Eliminate the Stereotypes and Double-Standards
Stereotypes and double-standards towards women arenít just exhibited by men, but also by other women. Although both genders typically hold the same views, they donít always realize it. By eliminating these factors completely, there can be a greater sense of equality throughout your organization. Mentoring can help you do this byÖ
- Giving all employees the same access to opportunity
- Eliminating gender in the mentoring relationship by simply partnering a mentee with the most qualified mentor
- Using mentor training to address the challenges that a diverse workforce can face, and provide solutions for these challenges
The conversations about gender inequality are happening more than ever and itís important to consider these facts when implementing a mentoring program for your organization. When choosing to keep your mentee pool diverse, you are allowing your organization to have a better chance of filling your succession pipeline with the most qualified individuals, retain your top talent, and attract the top candidates for your industry. All people want to feel like they are valued and that they are given the same opportunities as everyone else, regardless of their gender.
If you are interested in implementing a mentoring program for your organization, please contact us today.