Work for a Company that Knows Mentorship Matters
In an age when some men are actually avoiding women at work, mentoring women has never been more important. Mentorship has benefits for everyone, but given that we're still struggling to reach gender parity in STEM fields and only 6% percent of CEOs are women, mentorship is of particular importance for women and gender inclusion in the workplace.
Why mentorship for women matters:
- People with mentors are more likely to get promoted
- Women are 24% less likely than men to get advice from senior leaders
- 62% of women of color say the lack of an influential mentor holds them back
- Some studies have found that women are less likely to have mentoring relationships than their male counterparts
Please Note: This is a list, not a ranking.
1) PAX Labs
PAX Labs is an award-winning, consumer technology brand that supports responsible, adult use of cannabis.
Mentorship at PAX Labs
PAX is proactive about mentoring, promoting, and following in the footsteps of all of their great women leaders. PAX has established a Women@PAX group that supports women all-around, and some of their current programs/opportunities include:
- All women at PAX have access to high-touch 1:1 executive and leadership development coaching with Head of L&D, Rachel Bassignani.
- PAX has a peer group for the women of PAX. They use the Women@PAX group to share information, articles, experiences, and opportunities with one another. For example, of group of women will be taking Krav Maga training together.
- Rachel Bassignani, with the support of Molly Orloff, will be hosting internal Peer Coaching Circles for Women@PAX. Peer coaching circles are highly confidential, multi-disciplinary learning environments. Women have the opportunity to learn & practice coaching skills, receive exceptional coaching, and leverage group-think around current challenges and career goals. Furthermore, it is a huge opportunity to network, build deeper connections, and bond with other Women of PAX.
Helix is dedicated to making DNA learning accessible and actionable for everyone.
Mentorship at Helix
- Helix has a formal mentorship program, which provides mentors and mentees an opportunity to have conversations about growth, development and professional advice
- We have a social awareness group which is a more informal way we provide support to underrepresented groups within the company
- As a whole, Helix has a pretty good split of women (45% of the company), so there's opportunity to connect with other women in different departments or backgrounds
- Helix also provides funding to go to conferences if you want to grow your professional network and find mentors outside of Helix
Avanade is the leading provider of innovative digital and cloud services, business solutions and design-led experiences delivered through the power of people and the Microsoft ecosystem.
Mentorship at AvanadeMentorship is an important career development vehicle at Avanade as the next generation of leaders need accessible role models from which to learn and be inspired. Avanade has multiple formal and informal mentoring schemes across the company, which enable women to further develop their talent at critical stages of their careers:
- The Women's Employee Resource Group (ERG) connects female talent globally facilitating opportunities for networking, development and informal mentoring
- The Pathways to Success speaker series, sponsored by the Women's ERG and formally known as Mentoring Circles, has been recently relaunched and it involves a series of talks on a number of topics including mentoring, coaching, career progression, soft skills, motivational talks and senior women sharing their career journey and lessons learned
- Local meet ups are organized across our regions, which provide informal mentoring opportunities
- As part of Avanade's yearly International Women's Day celebrations, they host 65+ local events globally to provide female talent with networking and informal mentoring opportunities
- In late 2018, they launched an Executive sponsorship initiative with leadership from their Executive Committee. They continue to provide mentorship and coaching for top-rated executives, many of which are female.
- Avanade builds STEM careers earlier. They proactively cultivate interest in STEM and create new opportunities for young women and girls via their strategic partnerships and STEM Scholars program. This is a long-term commitment by Avanade to help close the gender, technology, and income gaps for women to better enable them to realize their full potential. Each year Avanade selects universities to work with to identify women who are eligible to receive an Avanade scholarship.
Ubiquity6 is working on some of the most compelling challenges in computer vision and augmented reality.
Mentorship at Ubiquity6
They're also working on building an inclusive workplace that supports diverse cultures, backgrounds, perspectives, skills, and experiences. To help support the women at their organization, they:
- Encourage mentorship for all employees
- Host monthly happy hours and get-togethers
- Foster engagement via their women Slack channel
- Host a DE&I focus-group meeting bi-weekly, which releases programming on how to promote an inclusive culture towards women and URMs!
Solstice is a modern software engineering firm that helps Fortune 500 companies seize new opportunities through world-changing digital solutions.
Mentorship at Solstice"At Solstice, we believe everyone benefits from mentorship!" There are a few key ways that they've created an internal structure that facilitates mentorship accessible to all "Solsties."
- Each Solstie is paired with a mentor to help guide and champion their career development and foster meaningful connections along the way. Mentor pairs are decided upon based on the strengths, opportunities, and career objectives of the mentee. A mentor will, then, support the mentee throughout the year as they work towards their goals, while also driving the delivery of feedback and advocacy.
- A mentor is different from an individual's manager at Solstice. Separating these two positions allows a mentor to support an individual's career growth from more of a coaching perspective - providing constructive feedback, supporting the individual's goals, and bringing a new perspective to the Solstie's day-to-day when they encounter obstacles. Mentors are paired intentionally to ensure underrepresented groups are not only supported personally, but continue to be advocated for.
- Solstice also has an internal Women in Technology group that is a part of our Diversity Committee. This group of Solsties plans events from Lunch & Learns to celebrations to educate the firm on diversity within their community and within the tech space. In addition to events, the group has created Slack channels that are specifically geared towards the support of women. One channel is focused towards Solsties who identify as women, while another one is for women across all of our global sister companies. Through these groups, Solsties can find mentorship and learn from not only the 500-person firm, but from their global Connective of 1,500. The Diversity Committee and Women in Tech are committed to ensuring that Solstice remains a welcoming & inclusive space for all.
6) T. Rowe Price
Mentorship at T. Rowe Price
WAVE @ T. Rowe Price supports the firm by increasing its ability to attract, develop, advance, and retain talented and principled women.
- WAVE instituted a mentorship group that engages associates across the firm and encourages them to connect with fellow associates to learn, exchange ideas and to create support system that enhances a woman's career at the firm.
- WAVE is focused on attracting, developing, and retaining talented women across the firm. Through this program women are enabled to engage with other women and WAVE advocates, who are male associates, to remove barriers and proactively advocate for women.
It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?
1. Dial in.<p>Dialing in rather than joining via the link instantly boosts your credibility. Who calls into Zoom meetings? People who are still busy and important enough to be leaving their houses! But you needn't actually be one of those people, or even more than a foot away from your computer to pull off this maneuver. (Remember, this article is called *seeming* smart, not being smart.)</p><p><strong></strong><em>Bonus: </em>If it's a large meeting at which attendance will be taken, the person running the meeting will inevitably ask, "Who's calling in from 443-322-2121?" That's when you raise your metaphorical hand, jump off mute, and say "[Your name] here. Really looking forward to hearing your perspective on [meeting topic]." And voila! You've stolen the meeting spotlight.</p>
2. Don't come on camera—ever.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODU5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjMwNjI3OX0.4fLyq2CvkZAJ7n_03esZepY37mOdyGdDdTEUYt5XEU0/img.png?width=980" id="bc7e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbbf21cc5d8c863b30654ae6993b04f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>Much like the "dial in," this technique works because it makes you appear aloof. If <em>The Crown has </em>taught me anything, it's that the key to maintaining a sense of mystique and prestige is to keep people at arm's length—and if you absolutely <em>must</em> touch them, wear a glove.</p>
3. Only communicate via chat.<p>Once you've mastered the art of staying off camera, you can level up by communicating exclusively via the chat box. Don't come off mute at all, even if the speaker asks your opinion. You are the elusive chatter and you will not be forced into actually participating in said meeting.</p>
4. Ask to share your screen.<p>Being aloof is great, but it's all about balance. Sprinkling in some active participation will really shock and impress your colleagues if you catch them off guard, so save this technique for when you've strategically <em>not </em>participated in a string of meetings.</p><p>Spend a few minutes prior to the meeting prepping a few inspirational slides with words like "synergy," "optimization," and "redefining 'culture'", or spend a few minutes poking around in Google Analytics. </p><p>Then wait for the opportune moment to say, "Can I just share my screen for a moment? I have some really interesting data I'd like to share...." and BAM — brilliance established.</p>
5. Show off your Zoom-saviness.<p>Try saying, "You know you can mute people, right?" to the host when they beg whoever's got the lawn mower and crying baby in the background to put themselves on mute for the nth time.<br></p>
6. Create an alter ego.<p>This tactic requires commitment, but the pay off is certainly worth it. Join the Zoom meeting from your normal account + name, and then join it again on a second device from an alias. Have your alter-ego ask some probing or stat-based questions in the chat and have the answers ready ahead of time. It should work something like this:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Your alter ego Charlene</strong><strong>:</strong> "Does anyone know what percentage conversion rates increased by in Q2?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Real you</strong>: *doesn't miss a beat* "It looks like Charlene has a question in the chat. That would be 36%."</p><div>Never mind that no one on your team knows who Charlene is or why she's at this meeting, they'll be too blown away by your brilliance to notice. (Bonus points if you use this strategy in conjunction with techniques 1, 2, 3 or 4!)</div>
7. Place an obscure object in your background that exudes intelligence.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODYxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzk5Njg2Mn0.V9_-3Ij3v_QndseqlrXRt5Nn39EJ97-itjls5zzYPf8/img.png?width=980" id="a369d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="604a2f04b53c2e3bc801bfa5256f367b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>We're talking a telescope, or perhaps a hardcover copy of <em>War & Peace </em>(no one need know that its only purpose in your life is as a makeshift yoga block).</p><p>If you don't have any suitable props at your disposal, do not despair: download some screenshots of Sheldon's apartment from <em>Big Bang Theory </em>or the chalkboard in <em>Good Will Hunting </em>and use those as a virtual background.</p>
8. Ask "Is this really the best course of action given the current climate?"<p>Economic collapse, COVID, racism… No need to specify whether you're referring to one or all of the above; just sit back and watch your boss squirm amidst the ambiguity.</p><p>This strategy pairs very well with techniques 2 and 3. You can prep additional vague-but-probing questions ahead of time and pepper them into the chat box throughout the meeting:</p><ul><li>How will this scale?</li><li>Do we really have the bandwidth for this right now?</li><li>What's the value-add here?</li></ul>
9. Remind everyone that you have a paid Zoom account.<p>"Oh, it looks like we're getting the 40-minute warning. I have a paid account, do you want to switch to my room?" It's helpful, with just a touch of condescension. Everyone knows condescending people are smart. And everyone knows that people with paid Zoom accounts are super important.</p>
10. Tell everyone you have a hard stop.<p>When pressed for details, share your philosophy on "work-from-home" balance and how committed you are to getting up once an hour to walk to your refrigerator.</p>
11. Ask the screensharer/host to "pull something up" for everyone.<p>Ask the presenter to navigate to a screen that only you know how to navigate well. Laugh maniacally while they suffer from crippling performance anxiety. Let them struggle for as long as is tolerable before saying, "Oh you know what? I can just share my screen if you want. That would probably be easier." BAM you're the hero. Don't worry, no one will even pause to consider that you could have proposed this course of action from the start.</p>
12. Say Zoom fatigue as many times as possible.<p>If you're too tired to employ any of the other strategies, just say "I know everyone is experiencing a lot of Zoom fatigue, so we can keep this meeting short." Then hang up as quickly as possible. Meeting averted! </p><p>After all, there's no better way to demonstrate your intelligence in a virtual meeting than to demonstrate why it wasn't really necessary in the first place. </p>
I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."
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