When we review the statistics about equality & advancement it is still painting a bleak picture: 22% of women are entrepreneurs, 23% women at senior levels, 3% of women in the C-suite and the one shining light is that women on boards have skyrocketed to an amazing 26.2%.

Mentoring is a critical part of career & business development opening doors to networks and leadership opportunities. The facts of the matter are that men are simply not giving these opportunities to women for a number of reasons; implicit bias, fear of harassment to name a few.

A 2017 study by professional services firm Egon Zehnder found that only 54% of women have access to senior leaders who act as mentors or informal sponsors in their careers. By comparison, a study by Development Dimensions International (DDI) found that while nearly 80% of women in senior roles had served as formal mentors. Given that there are fewer women at senior levels there is huge demand for those who are there to provide mentoring support whilst not receiving this in return. 

What we do know is that mentoring matters
* Mentees are promoted five times more often than those not in a mentoring program (Gartner 2006)
* Mentors were promoted six times faster too (Gartner 2006)
* Mentoring gives mentees access to wisdom, experience & connections
* Supports them in experiential learning & fast-tracks them out of trial & error
* Connects Mentees to the right people to grow either their career or business

For CEO’s in formal mentoring programs (Harvard Business Review 2015):
* 84% said mentors had helped them avoid costly mistakes
* 84% become proficient in their roles faster
* 69% were making better decisions

Mentoring is all about trust & confidence building. It helps many women overcome their own self-limiting beliefs and mindsets, which can hinder them in aspiring to reach senior and leadership roles or to grow a business. It helps them to build trust in themselves – who they are, what they do and how they do it – which, in turn, provides them with the confidence to move out of their comfort zone and strive to achieve their true potential.

Today there is more choice than sitting back & waiting for a tap on the shoulder, as a professional you can make the choice to find your own mentor. Often outside of the company you are in is better, less political & still door opening. For business owners, those considering capital raises this is a critical part of their development helping them to be connected into the right circles.