BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Women of All Ages and Careers Benefit from Mentoring

Posted by sherrysaunders on January 3, 2014

MentoringAs part of National Mentoring Month, Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation announced its continuing commitment to working women helping women work® through mentoring.  With a history dating back to 1919, BPW Foundation has long supported mentoring as a way to build women leaders of all ages and in all careers thereby enhancing and helping women find and grow successful careers and their small businesses.

“Mentors are important for young careerists just starting out and for women who have already embarked on a career but want to grow and advance. Research indicates that mentored individuals perform better on the job, advance more rapidly within an organization, and report more job and career satisfaction,” said BPW Foundation CEO Deborah L. Frett.

One aspect of BPW Foundation’s commitment to mentoring is that, since 1964, BPW local and state organizations have recognized and assisted young women as they start their careers through the BPW Young Careerist program.  In addition, BPW members provide career enhancement tools to women of all ages through locally conducted Individual Development programs.  Across the country, BPW working women are reaching out and helping women work.

“Mentoring is even more important today as workforce demographics have changed dramatically in recent years.  We know that great work experience, a good education, and strong references are traditional keys to building a successful career. But a mentor can guide you along the corporate road map, help you negotiate your salary, focus your attention on reaching your ultimate career goals and nurture your professional life,” Frett added.

As more women are participating in and then transitioning out of military service, BPW Foundation created Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® , a free national program that supports the career goals of women veterans, military/veteran spouses, care givers of wounded warriors, and surviving spouses of the military fallen.  Working women are sharing their experience and expertise to help these deserving women navigate and succeed in their personal development plan — identifying career interests and goals, exploring industry opportunities, translating military experiences and training into civilian work skills, advancing education, networking, preparing quality resumes and job search strategies, and addressing those life challenges that get in the way of career access and success.

Joining Forces Mentoring Plus® mentor Sandy Smith agrees.  “The reason highly trained women in this program have trouble translating their talents into civilian jobs is due to a cultural shift.  In the military, self-promotion is frowned upon; yet knowing how to market yourself is exactly what you need in the private sector. Helping my mentee own her skill set has been some of the most important work I’ve done in my life.”

BPW Foundation Chair and small business owner, Roslyn Ridgeway said, “We know that mentoring works.  Study after study has shown the benefits of mentoring including more career satisfaction, higher earnings and better productivity. But it is not just the mentee who benefits from a mentoring program.  The mentors also benefit with more positive feelings about themselves as well as learning new skills and ways of looking at problems.”

“And not surprisingly, since both the mentee and mentor benefit, so do businesses that promote mentoring programs.  Not only do many of the top companies have mentoring programs but they benefit from more satisfied employees and demonstrate an extraordinary Return on Investment,” Ridgeway concluded.

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