• StrataFusion

Accelerating Business Transformation through Mentorship

Our careers go through many transformations, but one thing we can do at every step is coach others to be successful through mentoring. Being a mentor has served as an important marker for me through the years, and working with organizations like WOMEN Unlimited (WUI) has enabled my learning and growth as I coach others to navigate their careers and work toward their unique goals.

Mentoring is extremely gratifying. I’ve been part of WOMEN Unlimited for many years and have met amazing people and continue to learn about business. Because WUI works with corporate partners to ensure high-potential women, it helps ensure a unified approach and infrastructure. In fact, both male and female mentors involved with WOMEN Unlimited say the program is a transformational learning experience for them as well. The good news is that there is room for everyone — we can all be involved.

When I started mentoring almost 20 years ago, I was a more-than-full-time executive running global development for Hitachi Data Systems. Today, when I think about what made me an effective leader, I attribute much of my personal success to mentoring — identifying and helping great talents, inside or outside of my company, who just needed a coach.

Leaders who make time to get involved and actively advocate for women and diversity in business can have a much deeper impact on company culture and accelerate success. A recent WOMEN Unlimited white paper noted a Pepperdine University that study tracked 200 Fortune 500 companies over a number of years. According to the lead researcher, Roy Adler: “the correlation between high-level female executives and business success has been consistent and revealing.”

It’s also mutually beneficial. Helping others succeed many times also helps those who are doing the mentoring:

  • Mentors gain insights that can easily be applied to other organizational relationships.

  • Mentors develop a clearer picture of how to be stronger advocates for organization-wide diversity.

  • Mentors have a greater understanding of the impact of corporate culture on the advancement of women

For me, helping a new generation of high potential women find their footing and explore career possibilities is energizing. I’m constantly seeing how culture is shifting in the age of technology, and how we can better help business accelerate and successfully embrace diversity.

While I’m focusing on more mentoring today in my career, it’s still a balancing act of very active work and coaching. Having an established infrastructure through WOMEN Unlimited helps to more effectively pass on the lessons I’ve learned, provide insights and share knowledge with someone who will, in time, do the same.

If you are seeking a new goal or resolution for 2020, considering becoming a mentor. WOMEN Unlimited is currently recruiting new mentors for their programs, so be sure to check out their website for more information.

Maureen Vavra