It’s no secret that the business world is primarily dominated by men. This fact is especially evident when you look at the number of women in executive positions compared to men. While statistics vary, the ratio is around 1:10. What does that say about the amount of success a woman can hope to achieve in business? Do we have to work ten times as hard as men?
It’s daunting to be a woman in such an unequal marketplace. That’s why as an intern, I’ve sought mentors in the workplace to help me reach my potential. Research done by the American Psychological Association has shown that “mentors…provide both psychosocial functions, such as role modeling, acceptance and affirmation, as well as career functions, such as sponsorship, coaching and networking.” Having positive female role models has helped me build confidence in the work environment and explore where my career can go.
The most valuable lesson I’ve learned from the women I’ve worked is the importance of networking and building business relationships. Making connections is the best way to open doors, and a mentor can help you make the best of new opportunities. I know it will be harder for me to move up in the business world as a woman, but with the guidance of other successful women, I can leverage their experience and wisdom to my benefit.
Source: “Women Mentoring Women” http://www.apa.org/monitor/nov00/mentoring.aspx