The evidence is undeniable: Creating a culture of mentorship builds leadership pipelines, reduces talent attrition and creates more opportunities for women.
Unfortunately, although the concept of women mentoring women has been around for a while, now is the time for employers to make a much stronger commitment to mentoring, one that includes active participation by men and women alike. Attendees at this year’s HR Technology Conference & Expo, Oct. 1-4, will get a great chance to learn how that can work for their organizations.
The show’s Why Mentoring Matters session, part of the Women in HR Tech Summit, is set for 9:10-10 a.m. Oct. 1 The session will help attendees understand how to significantly improve diversity and inclusion results through mentorship. Plus, the expert panel will unpack what’s needed to implement a mentorship program, how technology can assist and why mentorship can be one of the best paths to career success.
The panel includes Portia James, director of leadership and organizational development at Paychex; Katharine Mobley, global CMO at First Advantage; and Jeff Weber, senior vice president of people and places at Instructure.
“Our panel will discuss how to create a culture of mentorship within in your organization,” Mobley says. “We will also explore when to consider the role of a mentor versus a sponsor in your own career path.”
Mobley explains that there is a key distinction between both, noting that the concept for the panel came from an earlier discussion regarding the power of both mentors and sponsors for women in business.
“It is a topic I get asked to speak about often,” she says. For instance, she adds, in order to decide if you need a mentor or a sponsor, you should consider your most important career goal, and the steps you’ll need to take next to achieve that goal. Do you need someone you can talk it over with and give you advice, or do you need someone who can connect you with a network that might provide a bigger opportunity for you?
“In order to identify a mentor, consider your network and think of those that talk with you about your career; that is a mentor,” Mobley explains. Whereas, she says, a sponsor talks about you to others in their own network to position you for new roles, awards or opportunities you may not have considered yourself.
“So, when thinking about your organization, identify those who are willing to provide perspective to others, as mentors, and those who are willing to provide opportunities to others, as sponsors,” she says.