Do Women Really Need to Ask for Mentorship?
A new LinkedIn survey found that one in five women do not have a professional mentor, of which over half of them said they don't have one because they haven't found someone appropriate. Of those women who said they've never been a mentor, LinkedIn found that sixty-seven percent of women who had never been a mentor reported they weren't mentoring another professional simply because "no one ever asked". I find the idea of having to be asked to mentor someone a little strange.
A mentor is defined as "a wise and trusted counselor or teacher," or "an influential senior sponsor or supporter". Certainly, women don't need to be asked to take on those roles with other women in the workplace. Certainly, more of us can just take the initiative to guide others, especially since all it take to be a mentor, based on these definitions, is to offer advice and encouragement. Do we really have to be asked to do that, especially if we find someone who may need it?
Fortunately, the prospects of mentorship are improving for women, as the survey also found that half of of the Gen Y women (females between 18-29 years old) noted that they are being or have been mentored by women, while 43 percent of Gen X females (women between 30-44 years old) said they are, or have been, mentored by women. This could be due to the fact that many more women are in the higher echelons of the corporate ladder than in previous generations.
"Tooting your own horn is just one of the many ways you can increase the likelihood that you'll shatter the glass ceiling and snag keys to that corner office," said LinkedIn Connection Director Nicole Williams in the Huffington Post. "If you're uncomfortable speaking up about your accomplishments, then often times, your best bet is to seek out a sponsor or a mentor in your office who can vouch for you."