|Posted on August 7, 2015 at 10:50 AM|
It is estimated that only 26% of women in organizations manage to get to decision making positions, whilst 37% stagnate at middle management level. Once women get to middle management level, it often becomes a struggle to acquire the top jobs; this is due to many of these high ranking jobs being dominated by men. Women tend to face different barriers in the organization such as work life balance, career development, preferred leadership styles, corporate policies and practices etc. As women get close to attaining leadership positions, they need someone (i.e., Mentor) to turn to for help reaching that next step.
The mentors in a successful mentorship program for women provide career guidance and psychological support by sharing practical experience, and passing on wisdom they have gained. Providing career guidance consists of sponsorship, exposure, visibility, coaching, protection and challenging assignments. Psychosocial support includes being a role model, counsellor and friend. Mentors provide the mentee with access to resources and networks that contribute to long term career success.
To make mentoring happen organizations need to have formal mentoring programs and provide a culture that makes mentoring a practice. The more fixed mentoring is in the organization, the more likely women are to be mentors and to accept mentorships.
If your organization has a formal program, are your employees aware of it? How do you know if these programs are working? Do you offer training opportinities to would be mentors? Provide communication around mentoring as well as training and support for would be mentors and mentees so they are motivated and prepared to participate.