Does Gender Matter When it Comes to Your Mentor?

IMG_0039Girls are often raised to believe that it’s not polite to speak about your-self. So many women wait to be recognized and then are frustrated when they aren’t.

With the guidance of a trusted mentor, women can learn to overcome the internal and external factors that hold them back, and go on to successfully grow in their careers.

One of the most basic questions in the mentor-selection process is whether to be mentored by a man or a woman. When it comes to mentoring women, should the gender of mentor candidates be a consideration? The answer is not straightforward. While some experts and executives believe male mentors can offer the best resources to women, others feel that female mentors can offer better understanding of specific issues that mentees need to know. Still others feel that gender should not be a deciding factor for mentorship.

The bottom line?

Think about your goals for a mentoring relationship. If your company’s management structure is male-dominated and you need access to the “boy’s club,” a male mentor might make more sense, at least initially. But if you’re hoping to be advised by someone who has gone before you in your shoes and experienced similar challenges firsthand, you might prefer a female mentor.

Through a female or male mentor, you will have access to circles previously closed to you – you’ll receive firsthand know-how, tailored to your specific needs and your current position – and you’ll gain recognition in the places where decisions are made.

Choose someone who is more experienced in your field, someone who you respect professionally, find inspiring and look forward to spending time with. He/she should energize you.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

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