63% of Women Have Never Had a Mentor — Here’s How to Find One That's Right For You

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Tamara Jovanovska10
HR and Wellness Content Writer for Shortlister
May 28, 2024 at 1:30PM UTC

For most people, entering the workforce for the first time or reconsidering a career path can be unnerving. Juggling between the need to fit in a new work environment and manage their work responsibilities might leave employees feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  

Having a mentor can help workers gain more confidence and the skills to manage their work tasks. 

Companies often implement wellness programs and team-building activities to alleviate stress and improve job satisfaction. Some go a step further and facilitate mentorship programs to connect new talent with professionals in the field. 

However, mentorship is much more than a company perk. It's a valuable asset in career growth for employees on all professional levels and a boost for long-term company growth.  

And yet, most employees have never had a mentor or just don’t know how to find the right one. 

Closing The Mentorship Gap: How to Find the Right Mentor  

The majority of workers agree on the importance of mentorship programs.  For example, three out of four women say they'd always accept a mentoring opportunity, and 67% of female employees believe it's an essential step in career growth. 

Yet statistics show that 44% of employees have never had a mentor. The percentage is even higher for women, reaching 63%, as they are less likely to seek out a mentor than their male colleagues.  

To address this considerable gap, company leadership and the HR department should develop a culture that promotes regular mentoring, makes mentorship programs accessible, and encourages employees, especially women, to participate. 

On the other hand, employees must know how and when to initiate a conversation on the topic and reach out to a potential mentor. In fact, overcoming the fear of rejection and accepting the role of a mentor in the workplace gives employees a significant advantage in their careers.  

How to Find a Mentor That’s Right For You 

1. Identify your career goals.

The type of mentorship a person wants to pursue in the workplace largely depends on their individual career goals. Thus, the first step is to identify them. 

It doesn't necessarily have to be a definite or long-term objective, but rather more of a direction in which the person wants to progress in life and upgrade themselves and their skills.  

Based on this, employees can search for the right person who meets all requirements and can help them attain their career goals. 

2. Take initiative. 

Companies with mentorship programs are a great way to connect mentees with potential mentors.  

In their absence, sometimes asking is all it takes. 

 However, it's not uncommon to be afraid of rejection and find it intimidating to approach a potential mentor. In these situations, it's best to reflect on the issue and acknowledge that the person on the other end was in the same place at a certain point in their life. Afterward, initiating can be as easy as asking for a short introductory meeting in person or online. 

It's also best to outline the mentorship goals at the very beginning. That way, both parties will enter the partnership knowing how they can contribute and what they can gain. 

3. Maintain the relationship. 

Building a partnership on mutual respect, getting to know the person, and nurturing this relationship is the best way for mentors and mentees to get the most out of a mentorship.  

Employees should be respectful and proactive, always be on time for meetings and stay on track with their career goals. It's also good to take the time to update mentors on professional achievements and growth, or even check up on them and ask whether they need help or assistance with a task.  This is a great way to recognize mentors for their mentoring success and show gratitude for the guidance. 

The Real Impact of Mentorship  

The importance of a mentee-mentor partnership is mutual. While mentees gain professional advantages and quickly acclimate to the working environment, mentors use it to strengthen their coaching and leadership skills. 

Various studies support the impact mentorships have on acquiring a sense of belonging in the workplace. More importantly, they show how this mutually-beneficial collaboration contributes to higher percentages of employee retention, productivity and overall professional development. 

For example, employees who pursue a mentorship are five times more likely to get a promotion and have a higher chance of getting a salary increase than their counterparts. Additionally, this opportunity helps them gain a competitive edge by obtaining new skills and knowledge and becoming more confident with their work. There are emotional impacts, too — up to 97% of mentees have a more positive outlook on their work, stating they feel valuable and impactful.  

Whether workers have a clear idea about the future or are still weighing all the possibilities, they should pursue a mentorship to for continuous learning and invaluable professional opportunities.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Tamara Jovanovska is a content writer at Shortlister who specializes in HR and wellness benefits content creation, including SEO articles and guest posts. 

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for finding a mentor? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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