In 2023, women are increasingly stepping up to occupy significant and historically male-held positions in the workplace. As a result, there is a growing need for women’s mentorship and mentorship programs to empower and support women as they progress in their professions. Mentorship plays a crucial role in career development, particularly for women who face several unique challenges, such as unconscious bias and gender stereotypes, while navigating the corporate ladder.
With more women entering traditionally male-dominated fields, there is a need for supportive environments that can help women in today’s workplace succeed. Many have stories of struggling to be heard and respected in the workplace, and mentorship offers an opportunity for them to receive the guidance and support they require.
“Mentorship is about taking the time and energy to give back,” shares Alison McGill, award-winning editor, writer, media personality, podcast host, and brand strategist. “It’s about helping not just guide and shape someone’s mindset, thinking and skills but being there to support an individual for all aspects of the journey. I think of mentorship as the most unique and special kind of friendship because, in my experience, mentors become forever friends. A mentor helps you grow and succeed, and it is an extremely special relationship if you are fortunate enough to have it.”
Through mentorship, women can learn from experienced professionals who have overcome similar barriers and learned how to navigate the system. They can gain valuable insights into the industry, understand the expectations and demands of the workplace, and access critical networks that may open doors to new opportunities. Moreover, mentorship fosters a sense of community and belonging, which can be particularly important for women working in male-dominated fields.
“The community you can create through mentorship is one that continues throughout your career,” states Shannon Giang, FIKA Beauty and FIKA Beauty Studio Founder.
“A support system you can lean on during times of stress or uncertainty and you will always have a place to catch your breath, bounce ideas, and walk away reinspired.”
Mentorship also offers benefits to organizations themselves. Several studies have shown that organizations with diverse leadership teams and workforces perform better than those without. By providing mentorship opportunities to women, organizations can cultivate a more inclusive environment that values diversity and promotes gender equality.
There is no question that women’s mentorship is vital to the success of workplaces and organizations, big and small, and the professional development of women – no matter their field. The 2023 workplace must recognize the importance of this initiative, and employers should prioritize and champion mentorship programs as part of their diversity and inclusion strategies. By doing so, organizations create a more equitable workplace and foster a culture of collaboration, innovation, and growth.
For individuals, if you are an entrepreneur or feel like you could use more support than you get within your workplace, seek out mentorship programs in your area. Or, if there is a woman that you look up to, reach out!