This Company Wants More Female Leaders — And They’ve Got Programs in Place to Make It Happen

Sponsored by Mindbody

Photo Courtesy of Mindbody.

Photo Courtesy of Mindbody.

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Mindbody is connecting the world to wellness. Their company purpose inspires and encourages every team member to be the best version of themselves. And Mindbody's guiding principles — which include celebrating achievements, practicing humility, exercising empathy and encouraging conscious evolution — support this belief. 

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Their mentorship program, in particular, further emphasizes their commitment to workplace wellness by empowering employees to focus on personal development goals and strengthening professional relationships. Mindbody formalized this program after receiving feedback from female developers in the “Women in Tech” group, who acknowledged the need for mentorship as a powerful way to develop leaders internally. Since its inception, over 1,000 people have gone through the program and made connections, networked and built career-advancing relationships with one another. About 25% of employees are presently involved in the mentorship program, and almost 500 people matched this year.

“While all Core Values speak to the design of the mentorship program, we are directly tied with our Consciously Evolving Core Value by referencing a key element of that value with the statement, ‘Each of us is completely free to wake up and be just a little bit better,’” says Jessica Olsen, Program Manager of People & Culture at Mindbody. 

Every Spring, employees are notified and encouraged to sign up for a mentorship through a process that includes filling out a survey with their location and professional goals. The survey is then sent into an internal algorithm created by a Mindbody developer and matched with mentors or mentees across the company, depending on the surveyor’s preference. No demographic data is taken into account, which naturally develops diverse matches.

Once mentor and mentees are matched, Mindbody establishes a cadence for meeting. The pair must commit to at least one hour per month, and they have the freedom to customize the experience based on goals and desired outcomes. To help, the company has an intranet site with resources based on areas of focus, articles and recommendations for meeting topics that mentors and mentors can use to guide each session. Areas of focus can include developing a specific skill or tackling a special project. Ultimately, what transpires throughout the mentorship program is unique to each pair. 

Stephanie Shepherd, a People & Culture Data Analyst at Mindbody and mentor in the program says: “Mentoring is a formal way to build connections so that you may learn about other’s professional experience and then apply it to your own. Additionally, I’ve found that having a strong network of individuals from diverse backgrounds has been critical to my professional journey — no matter the problem I may have, there is someone I feel that I can reach out to for guidance, support or just to talk it out.”

Her mentee, Marisa Balmana, a trainer in the Learning & Development department, also has some great things to say about the program. 

“After meeting several times to talk more about the department I wanted to pursue a career in, Steph was able to help arrange shadows for me which allowed me to have an inside look at what a day to day would look like in the field,” Balmana said. “I might not have even seen the training opportunity I’m now in had Steph not sent it my way. She was instrumental in helping me prepare for the role.”

“Our main goal of the mentorship program is to grow and learn from one another,” Olsen adds. “We encourage anyone to be a mentor or mentee, regardless of level and tenure. We always want to ensure we are being inclusive.” 

And that they are, with at least 49% of participants in the program being women, many of whom set goals to develop their leadership skills once they’re paired up.

“Having more women in leadership is a huge priority, so seeing support from the top down is essential,” Ivette Guintu, manager of Learning Solutions at Mindbody concluded. “In my 2 years [at Mindbody], I have seen a shift and an increase in women in leadership roles. People are finally talking about it and are encouraged to ask questions and call out opportunities for improvement.”


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