In December 2018, Gild Collective facilitated a 2-day program for a cohort of under-represented minority (URM) women at Intel. The participants came from a variety of departments and positions within the organization and many had never met previously. Beyond the action-oriented programming during the session, we organized opportunities for connection and network building to create support networks within the organization.
It is rare to hear anyone dispute the benefits of having a mentor in the workplace. Mentors help guide you along the path of your career and advocate for you when you need them. Having a mentor can be the difference between getting ahead in your career and staying stagnant. However, of people being mentored, very few are being mentored by women. It’s important for women to act as mentors, not only to lift up future leaders but to also improve their own leadership skills.
Women are great leaders because they are great at building relationships, empowering others, tuning into people’s needs, and just being awesome. Once you have made it to the top, don’t forget those behind you, following the path you have blazed through. Be you, and lead courageously...like a girl.
It was the perfect venue for our Fostering Mentorship & Relationships workshop, focused on building relationships to combat gender bias. The workshop was paired with one of our favorite projects — the double Morse Code Necklace.
Throughout each of the women's leadership stories, there was a common thread: making space for the women that you mentor or those that will come after you to rise higher.
We were SO excited to work with them again this week for their Quarterly Meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
We’ve heard just about everything when it comes to the perceptions of women’s initiatives within organizations. We’ve seen organizations where all employees are bought-in—they see the value, and they have both men and women participating in driving equality in the workplace. But, we’ve also seen organizations where there is women’s initiative pushback, or a lack of understanding on what the purpose of the initiative is and the goals it is trying to reach.
If you are developing purposeful mentor relationships and giving a bit of structure to them, there should also be a structure in place for knowing when it is time to wrap up the ‘formal’ part of your agreement. We know this person has become important to you over time, and they certainly don’t drop out of your life—it may just be time to free up your time (and theirs) for a more beneficial relationship for your next challenge.
I strongly believe in the power of having key mentors to guide and support you through this crazy life. By following these ground rules, we can show the impact that purposeful, time-sensitive, sometimes unexpected, but overall done-right mentorship relationships can have. Maybe we’ll even win over a few eye-rollers in the process!