While the opinions below are my own, I was compensated by Johnson & Johnson for this post.
A mentor’s advice can often be the key to us taking first steps toward a promising career, knowing how to rise to our potential, negotiating a promotion, or learning valuable lessons that guide us throughout our working years.
But mentorships in the work place don’t always organically fall in place – especially for women. According to a DDI study, 63 percent of women reported that they’d never had a formal mentor, which is a staggering statistic considering women also cited mentorship as highly important in helping them advance in their careers.
Generally speaking, workplace mentorship programs help bridge knowledge gaps between veteran employees and newbies, and they foster cross-departmental communication. Corporate initiatives like this are what boost employee self-confidence, improve productivity, and reduce turnover.
One company that’s made mentorship a major focus is Johnson & Johnson. Since its founding more than 130 years ago, Johnson & Johnson has championed women, providing them with tools, resources, and opportunities to succeed.
[Sidebar] Check out this adorable video featuring advice from the next generation of women leaders.
Why is mentorship for women so important? According to a 2015 World Bank estimate, nearly 40 percent of the world’s workers are women, and in the U.S. it’s 47 percent; you read that right – nearly HALF the U.S. work force is female! As C-suites and executive boards become increasingly inclusive of women, women are beginning to ask for and offer mentorships in a way that had previously been an autopilot practice among males in their ranks.
Igniting the power of women to be transformative leaders isn’t just good for individual companies, but for society as a whole. Women can often be the best catalysts for creating healthier communities – from their personal communities to the corporate community.
Mentor partnerships have domino effects into surrounding communities. Take the collaboration between Johnson & Johnson employees and Girls Inc., for example. Through this partnership, Johnson & Johnson paired high-school girls with executive women for mentoring throughout the school year to prepare them to pursue higher education and their future careers, and to provide them with guidance and resources that shape them to become women leaders in their own right.
For young girls plotting out their futures, to experienced women in the workforce ready to take that next step in their careers, mentorships can help propel women toward fulfilling their dreams. Consider becoming a mentor for someone at your office and take that first step toward finding a mentor who can provide valuable – maybe life-changing – advice.