When thinking of the typical mentor-mentee relationship, the image that comes to mind might be of a seasoned professional advising a new college grad over coffee.
But mentorships should exist at every stage of your career. As Nilanjana Dasgupta, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, says in CNN Money, part of it is subverting our ideas of what mentorship looks like. “Mentoring doesn’t always happen in a hierarchical way,” she says. “Often, mentoring happens in bidirectional ways, and you learn different things from different people.”
Mid-career women might feel embarrassed or nervous about seeking out a mentor, for fear of looking incompetent or being rejected. But this move does exactly the opposite. Mentorship expands your career opportunities, builds crucial connections within your professional network, creates a community of support and trust, and ultimately brings you a sense of purpose and meaning.
The benefits of mentorship are numerous, and mentorship helps break down systemic barriers within organizations: “Growing research has also shown that intentional mentorship programs have a positive impact in chipping away at the promotion or opportunity gap, gaps that keep women and people of color from advancing within organizations,” Fast Company notes.
As Seena Mortazavi, CEO of mentoring software and platform Chronus, says, “We know that people really don’t get promoted without having a champion and someone that can speak about you behind closed doors. Having mentoring as a part of the employee journey helps to level the playing field so everyone has the same opportunity to progress in their careers.”
Mentorship During a Crisis
Mentorship is especially important during this COVID-19 crisis, a time filled with uncertainty and loneliness and when mid-career women might be considering a career change. The culture of inclusion and belonging that mentorship fosters is just what mid-career women need during this stressful time.
Mentors help boost confidence during difficult times and build trust. Even if it’s just through Slack messages or Zoom calls rather than handshakes and lunch, these moments can help professionals weather through the COVID-19 crisis.
Join Us at One of Our Conversation Circles
The Humphreys Group is passionate about connecting women at all stages of their career through our Conversation Circles.
Our circles consist of a group of 12–15 women sitting together (now virtually), and we have honest, authentic conversations about money beyond the numbers. We have discussed topics ranging from “What’s Your Worth? The Art of Advocating for Ourselves” to “Fiscal Unequals: Finding Common Ground with Friends and Family” to “What’s in Your Resilience Toolkit?” If you’re interested in joining us at our next event, reach out to us today!