Mentoring Women: Overcome Challenges in the Workplace

February 27, 2019

Working women own over 10 million businesses and make up almost 47% of the workforce. While women account for almost half of all workers, they only hold a small percentage of executive positions. In fact, some male-dominated industries often see no women in their executive positions.

It is important to empower and encourage women as they often face unique challenges without the necessary tools to overcome them. A great way for them to possess these tools is by participating in a mentoring program. Mentors, whether they are men or women, guide their mentees through struggles by sharing their knowledge and personal experiences.

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Here are two challenges that mentors can help women overcome in the workplace.

Lack of Confidence

Self-confidence within an organization is vital to an individualís success. Without this confidence, you are not able to convey your capabilities. A study on the confidence gap showed that women underestimate both their abilities and their performance.  They simply lack confidence. This challenge to women in the workplace can be overcome through mentoring. 

Mentors see abilities even when their mentees do not, and mentoring sessions that focus on showing women what they can do broadens their self-awareness and boosts their confidence levels. By overcoming their lack of confidence women are more likely to apply for promotions they previously overlooked and present their ideas in meetings.

Poor Self-Advocacy

Recruiting statistics reveal that only 32% of c-suite employees are women. Self-advocacy is necessary to increase that percentage and prevent women from being overlooked for promotions. Similar to confidence, it is often a challenge for women to improve self-advocacy by themselves.

Women are happy to advocate for others, but they are often uncomfortable advocating for themselves. Mentoring will teach women to be comfortable as self-advocates. Mentors go through exercises such as role-playing scenarios and discussing strengths to give women the tools essential for self-advocation. Benefits from overcoming this challenge in the workplace include the ability to ask questions comfortably and recover from mistakes. These benefits often inspire women to become mentors to others.

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