Posts Tagged ‘women’

Women and Mentoring Feedback

June 14, 2012

Mentors and mentees in a local mentoring program recently provided feedback on their mentoring experience over this past year.  The value of mentoring was highly rated by both the mentors and the mentees.  As always, high number ratings were gratifying to see, but the comments offered the most insight.  One mentee found value in “having time set aside to discuss the issues I have with my work-life balance and business challenges with a neutral third party.”  Said one mentor, “I felt like I was able to provide meaningful advice that was helpful during a time of change within her organization.”  And their biggest challenge over this past year?  Finding the time (or making the time) to meet was mentioned most often by both mentors and mentees.  Surprised?  I’m not.  However, there are so many ways that mentors and mentees can connect and still have a meaningful relationship without taking large chunks of time away from other priorities.  I enjoyed hearing from the mentor who told me that they always walk when they talk, multi-tasking whenever they meet.

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Women and Mentoring

May 2, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working with a mentoring program for women.  This particular mentoring program consists of women mentoring other women.  Currently, there are 60+ women involved in the program.  We are now in the process of training new mentees and new mentors to be matched.  Some of these women are building careers in large corporations.  Some of the women are making a difference for others while employed in non-profit organizations.  Many are bravely striking out on their own as women entrepreneurs, starting their own businesses under tough economic conditions.

Two observations stand out for me from this experience.  First, the quality of the talent, knowledge, and experience that all of these women are willing to share is truly impressive.  They inspire me!  Second, there are many more women who could benefit from the opportunity to develop personally and professionally through a mentoring experience.  They motivate me to do more!

Facebook’s COO

February 6, 2012

A New York Times article this last weekend, entitled, “The $1.6 Billion Woman, Staying on Message”, featured Sheryl K Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook.  The article points out that Sheryl, who is positioned to become a billionaire with the upcoming Facebook IPO, takes every opportunity she can to encourage women to enter and promote themselves in business and technology.  I’ve viewed some of her presentations on YouTube.  Sheryl is a dynamic speaker and an advocate for mentoring.  She herself has been mentored as she climbed various corporate ladders, and she actively mentors other young women in their careers.  However, her real message is more than mentoring.  Sheryl is a strong a role model for women who want to put business strategy and personal goals to work for themselves.  Mentoring is one of the tools to assist in that process.

Matching Mentees with Their Mentors

October 15, 2011

I am often asked how matches are made within the Mid-Day Mentoring Program that was mentioned in my previous blog entry.  In the Mid-Day Mentoring Program, both mentors and mentees complete confidential questionnaires.   Mentees rank areas of focus that they would like to receive mentoring in.  These areas of focus are the starting point for the match.  Mentors are then selected for each mentee based on their knowledge and experience, as indicated in their completed questionnaires.  Of course, there is also some “matching magic” involved!  That’s when hobbies and other common interests are considered to ensure that both the mentee and mentor will find elements on which to build a fulfilling mentoring relationship.  I recently received the following e-mail message from one of the mentors:  “met with my mentee today…  lovely woman… luv her… you did a great match… i think it’s mutual…”  I ask you, now how cool is that?!!

Mid-Day Mentoring Program

October 13, 2011

A Mentoring Program was established for the Mid-Day Women’s Alliance in Appleton, WI early last year.   As a co-chair for that program, I am pleased to report that the program not only continues to grow, but it is also attracting new members to the  organization.  Women who are interested in participating in the program have responded to our program’s publicity and are getting involved, either as a mentee or mentor.  More than 40 area individuals are currently participating in the mentoring program which offers training to mentors and mentees along with the opportunity to experience a confidential and trusting  relationship.  Anyone interested in becoming members and participating in the program should contact the Mid-Day Women’s Alliance at middaywa@gmail.com.

Success Through Mentoring Begins Early

April 30, 2011

Last week, I had the pleasure of serving once again on the selection committee for the Women in Science scholarship.   This scholarship is presented to a graduating high school senior who has is planning to earn a science-related major in a four-year college or university.  It was inspiring to read through the many impressive applications that had been submitted.  Many of these young women had achieved academic success while participating in sports and other school activities, working part-time jobs, and volunteering in the community.  It was also evident that most of these students had already been introduced to mentoring.  Some had participated in mentoring programs designed around possible career choices such as medicine or engineering.  Others had served as mentors for incoming freshmen or for other students new to their school.  It was gratifying to note that early on, these young women recognized how a mentoring relationship contributed to their development – either in being a mentee or a mentor.  Hopefully, they will continue to make mentoring a component of their development and success in their college years and throughout their lifetime. 

Do you know a young person who would benefit from having a mentor or who could begin developing coaching and leadership skills by sharing their experiences as a mentor to others?

Opportunities for Mentoring – They’re All Around You!

November 30, 2010

Earlier this month, The Value of Mentoring was the featured topic of the Mid-Day Women’s Alliance in Appleton, WI.  Dawn Gohlke, Executive Director of Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha, discussed the importance of child/adult mentoring.  Dawn emphasized how much just an hour of your time can mean to an at-risk child.  Monica Vomastic, President and CEO of Landmark Staffing Company, discussed her experiences with adult mentoring.  Through the years, Monica has had both a boss who mentored her while she moved up in the banking industry as well as a paid job coach who mentored her when she took on her current CEO role at Landmark.  Both Dawn and Monica are advocates for the value of mentoring. 

 If you live in the Fox Valley area and are interested in experiencing the value of mentoring – either as a mentor to a child, mentor to another adult, or being mentored yourself, the following contact information will get you started:

 Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha (child/adult):  http://www.bestfriendsnm.org/

Mentor 4 Hire (adult/adult):  http://www.mentor4hire.com/

 Mid-Day Women’s Alliance Mentoring Program (adult/adult):  http://www.middaywomen.org/

Mentor Spotlight – Kathi Seifert

November 9, 2010

Each year, the Mid-Day Women’s Alliance of Appleton (formerly Mid-Day Business and Professional Women) selects a local woman of distinction to honor.  This year, there were a large number of outstanding women nominated for the award.  I am pleased to say that the 2010 Woman of Distinction Award was presented to Kathi Seifert, owner of Katapult, LLC.  I first met Kathi when we were both working at Kimberly-Clark, where she became the Executive Vice President of the billion dollar global personal care business.  Kathi is energetic, passionate, focused, and giving.  She is known for her supportive style, always willing to take time to coach and mentor other women.  Kathi, in turn, is quick to point out what she has learned from others – that mentoring works both ways. 

I have felt Kathi’s passion and energy and witnessed her business achievements as well as her many contributions to the quality of life here in the Fox Cities and beyond.  I salute Kathi Seifert, the 2010 Woman of Distinction and mentor to many!

They’ve Got the Spirit!

August 27, 2010

Yesterday, I attended a Women’s Equality Day Luncheon commemorating the 90th anniversary of women’s suffrage.  We were about 200 women all together, celebrating the women who fought for our right to vote while acknowledging current “opportunities” and preparing for future challenges.   It was gratifying to see that women of all ages were in attendance.  They ranged from school girls and college coeds to ladies who smiled as they pushed their walkers through the crowd. 

Following the luncheon keynote address by the Lieutenant Governor, there was recognition of women from the audience who had served or who are now serving in elected office.  Those recognized held important positions as: city council president, school board member, mayor, judge, state representative, and county executive.  Once they had been introduced, several of the women spoke out (shouted out really) to encourage the younger women in the audience to run for public office.   They offered to mentor other women through the process, sharing their experience, networks, and knowledge of the process. 

So, what a few women started 90+ years ago continues to grow for the good of all women and for our entire nation.  That’s the spirit!

Speed Mentoring

April 8, 2010

Speed mentoring has been applied in corporate settings for some time.  It gives employees an opportunity to connect with senior executives, learn about various areas of their organization, and network for future business results. 

Now, in this time of limited resources, colleges and universities are making use of speed mentoring to provide job search guidance for their graduates.  The University of Texas-El Paso hosted a speed mentoring session for students planning careers in medicine.  Barnard College and the Women’s Issues Commission of New York City sponsored a speed mentoring event that matched executive-level professional women with female college students.  Each student had eight minutes with each of a number of speed mentors.   These college students, in turn, will now “mentor forward” in a speed mentoring event with high school students.

Speed mentoring allows Mentors to impact a number of Mentees in a short period of time and offers Mentees the opportunity to get career advice and build their network.   Could it work for you?