I’m a Senior Leader — Here’s The Approach to Mentorship That Adds to My Success

Sponsored by Gartner

Photo Courtesy of Gartner.

Photo Courtesy of Gartner.

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Fairygodboss
May 27, 2024 at 12:34PM UTC

Beatriz Fontanella has been the Director of Human Resources for Gartner for eight years, working with a number of teams all across the world to attract and retain diverse talent pools and foster effective HR processes. 

While she spends much of her time advising HR strategies and coaching leadership teams, she also has a mentor of her own who has helped her learn, grow and chase her career goals.

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Recently, Fontanella spoke with Fairygodboss to share insights into the importance of mentorship connections. She also gave us a special look at how Gartner’s supportive environment allows these relationships to grow organically — and the career path that’s led her to the company and colleagues she enjoys growing alongside. 

Tell us a bit about your job. What are your main responsibilities in your current role, and what were you doing previously?

I work as a human resources leader supporting Gartner Global Product teams across Digital Products and Innovations, Peer Insights, Global Retention Programs, all Product Management teams (Growth Programs, Global Business Products, and Tech and Services Providers), as well as Territory Planning and Analytics.

I work alongside leaders acting as a strategic partner, providing direction related to talent planning and helping design workforces for sustainable growth. My responsibilities also include coaching leadership teams to embrace and drive HR processes effectively, partnering with Recruiting & Finance to foster strategy to attract and retain a diverse and high-quality pool of talents, supporting change programs, managing change across BUs to influence organizational culture, and being a true partner to the business.

I’ve been with Gartner over eight years. I joined Gartner as the first Country Manager in Brazil, supporting Latin America teams (Mexico and Brazil). I relocated to Ft. Myers to support Global Technology Sales (GTS), working with Midsize Enterprise (MSE) teams, and I relocated again to help build the Dallas office while leading the Americas GTS MSE group and HR team. I also acted as the HR site leader for Dallas COE. Most recently, I supported EXP ALE, EXP MSE and Prioritized Accounts and Retention Teams with the Products and Services organization until my role expanded in July 2020 to support all the groups highlighted above.

 What do you love most about your job?

I absolutely love reshaping existing HR partnerships with leaders to become a true advisor to the business on all HR and people matters, seeing people and businesses transforming and becoming better.

 How long have you had a mentor or sponsor, and how did you wind up working with one?

Throughout my professional career I have had a mentor, and I have also mentored a lot of people in between. I usually selected the person I would want to learn from based on their career journey and accomplishments, or the person who would be able to help me develop or gain exposure and experience in specific areas that would be critical for me to continue to learn, grow, develop and achieve my career goals.

Most recently, my former manager assigned me a mentor — and this was primarily the only mentorship relationship I have not picked directly. The decision to point me to this new mentor was aligned to my current life priorities, role and career aspirations. I am very pleasant with my mentor because she is helping me with such sound advice that’s impact goes beyond my professional development. She has helped me navigate some personal life circumstances and life as a working mom, too.

 How do you approach your mentorship relationship differently than you think about your relationship with your boss or manager? 

I am very open and honest with both but, oftentimes, my mentorship relationship is less about situational leadership and coaching tied to work execution or projects I am leading. It is more about personal and professional development that will help me sustain and advance my career in the short term and long term. 

Mentorship helps me gain a different perspective from someone who is not necessarily involved in my day-to-day work, but who is experienced and who is someone I admire or look up to. They can offer me great advice on what and how I can prioritize, as well as on actions I can take for my development.

 A mentor is someone I discuss any type of opportunity with. It is someone with whom I more broadly share ideas for career advancement without limiting possibilities to current role, scope or team.

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