Women Leadership: Be aware of these mentorship biases

A while ago I wrote a post about the secret of having a successful mentor/mentee relationship. I talked about how to find a mentor or more precisely, how to find your own Board of Mentors.  All of the points are still valid (and I highly recommend you read the post). Today I want to discuss another aspect of successful mentorships.

Women are mentored on speaking up while men are mentored on how business works

At a recent Women Leadership Summit, we discussed the difference in topics that men and women are being mentored on.

According to the speaker, women were (primarily) mentored on:

  • presence
  • presentation skills
  • speaking up

while men were mentored on:

  • how business works
  • who you need to know

Though I don’t believe that this sweeping generalization is true always, from own experience I can say it rings true.

Women have the choice to change the mentoring conversation

Now, understanding that there may be different approaches on how women are being mentored allows us to change the conversation.

So rather than throwing your arms up in frustration, ask the right things of your mentors. Ask what makes the business you work in successful. Learn which part of the business you can have a positive impact on. Ask to be introduced to decision makers.

Know that you have the control to change where your mentoring is going.

Read more on  the secret of having a successful mentor/mentee relationship.