Tag Archives: Mentoring

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

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 32: The Turnaround

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

I can’t tell you how much has been happening – and it’s all so exciting!

OK to pick up from last time, I mentioned a new trial I have coming up. It starts with interviews next week and it’s with a student project team from the University of Applied Sciences in Austria. Ping! It just happened…

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Good Work isn’t enough! 

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By: Anja Uitdehaag 

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.

~ Will Rogers ~

Much more than men, women held to the belief that doing good work – great work even – is enough to climb the corporate ladder. But the reality is, in today’s competitive work environment, being bright, hard working, and having a positive attitude aren’t enough. Capabilities like intuition, nurturing others and strong interpersonal skills are important but they won’t help you be sufficiently recognized for your work.

Success is not only about the caliber of your work.

Hard work and good work are the expected standards. You need to go above and beyond that if you want to stand out from the crowd. Visibility is just as important as ability. If nobody knows how great your work is, it’s not going to get you anywhere. If you aren’t proactive about reporting your accomplishments, you’ll never get recognized for your good work.

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What is in it for the mentor?

Eeyore – Winnie-the-Pooh

By: Anja Uitdehaag

In the words of Albert Einstein:

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”.

A mentor-mentee partnership is a personal learning and developmental partnership between someone with a vast experience and some one who wants to learn. It is a helpful relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.

A mentor is a guide who can help the mentee to find the right direction and who can help him/her to develop solutions to career issues. Mentors rely upon having had similar experiences to gain an empathy with the mentee and an understanding of their issues.

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Why mentorship matters for women

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By: Anja Uitdehaag

For many women working long hours or trying to combine work with family life, it is easy to concentrate on the day- to-day issues of life and forget the larger picture – where they are heading. Having a mentor is a chance to think about longer-term objectives.

Throughout my career multiple mentors and sponsors took part in my continuous development and growth, both males and females. They supported me when I needed a new approach or new level of thought. They helped me to build my self-confidence and leadership at moments when I felt that I did not have the right skills for a particular role or situation and they brought in unique experiences that added to my understanding of how to play the game of business.

Some of the challenges women encounter in the workplace don’t necessarily come from their working environments, but rather from within.

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Situation 36: Female Leadership Mentoring

Femsy admits that self-confidence remains an issue for her. She sometimes finds it tough to operate in a macho environment. Furthermore she feels she does not have a strong network. She agrees with boss to find a third party mentor.

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Who do you regard as your mentor?

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“Women receive fewer promotions than men because they are less likely to have mentors who are also advocates for them” according to the article “Why men still get more promotions than women” by H. Ibarra, N. Carter and C. Silva in Harvard Business Review (Sept. 2010).

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