How Mentoring Can Benefit Women in LeadershipJuly 30, 2019
Women have been making a name for themselves in organizations all over the world. They are taking their career goals to the next level and claiming positions they have worked very hard for. Despite this, many top positions within organizations are still held by men.
Because of this, some women are shattering the mold, but others are still struggling to truly thrive. Between work-life balance and office politics, there are numerous challenges women can face in the workplace. However, there is a solution to help women get into more leadership roles – mentoring.
Mentoring programs are a versatile solution that can help any individual with their career development. Mentoring programs can facilitate leadership skill development, among other things. These skills allow women to step towards top positions. Here are 5 ways mentoring can benefit women in leadership.
1. Change Perceptions
Many women choose to leave organizations because they do not feel like their abilities are valued by their leaders. Along with feeling under-appreciated, they are often not given the tools necessary to create a competent career path. This results in feeling as though they are simply “stuck” in their current positions.
When given the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program, women are better able to move forward in their careers. Mentoring can change the perception many women develop when their leaders do not recognize their talent. A mentor has the unique to celebrate a woman’s achievements while continuously developing her skills.
More frequent feedback and recognition from a mentor will boost confidence and help women advance into leadership positions. Gender diversity within the leadership team benefits the organization by increasing employee retention and employee engagement.
2. Articulate Career Ambitions
Generally, women don’t engage in self-advocacy nearly as much as they advocate for others. This means they are less outspoken about their ambitions in the organization.
Leaders in the organization will remain unaware of these ambitions if they are not articulated. This can result in women being passed over for promotions, simply because leadership does not know they want leadership roles. Participating in a mentoring program can give some women a much-needed push in the right direction.
Mentoring provides a safe space for women to openly discuss their ambitions. Additionally, a mentor should encourage women to take these ambitions and articulate them to organizational leadership. Whether the problem is with confidence or lack of necessary skills, mentors can work with women to overcome challenges.
Mentors can also provide personal experience with promotions and career development in general, giving women insight on navigating the process successfully. This is especially valuable when the mentor is also a woman.
3. Stay Accountable for Goal Achievement
Occasionally, women will set career development goals and not hold themselves accountable. While this is a common problem for any individual, women can be more affected because of other challenges they face.
Being part of a mentoring relationship can help to hold women accountable to their personal goals. It helps make career development easier and more achievable.
The mentor can help women set goals and track their progress. They are able to revisit goals that may need extra development. These goals and progress can be tracked easily with mentoring software.
Consistent goal achievement leads to higher performance and advancement throughout the organization. Increased goal achievement also improves employee engagement and employee retention. For women in leadership, overall employee experience will also improve as they continuously achieve their goals.
4. Build a Solid Network
Networking is important for any individual, but it is especially important for women. Women tend to have fewer connections at work, partially due to lack of networking. This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to new opportunities and promotions. However, a mentor can help build their networks.
Having a mentor can give women access to professional networks that may not have been available before. A mentor can introduce them to others in their profession and generally make them more visible throughout the organization. The benefits of higher visibility will continue throughout the career path.
When women who were mentored step into leadership roles, they are able to mentor younger women, continuing the success lifecycle. This builds their networks further and promotes continuous gender diversity within the organization.
5. Gain Confidence
It is important for women leaders to be confident in their skills and abilities. This confidence is vital to make tough decisions and perform other necessary leadership tasks. Having a mentor provides a gateway to increased confidence through improved skills and developed leadership competencies.
As they gain confidence, women are more likely to own their career development paths. They will begin to push themselves to achieve these goals and move up the corporate ladder. This is great for any succession strategy looking to diversify the leadership team with more women.