Summer is for Mentors
By Lynn Branigan
As we hit the halfway mark on 2022, one thing has become exceedingly evident. Mentoring matters.
It matters to the five Badass Bosses who joined She Runs It in Cannes to talk about what made them leaders and how they nurture other leaders. It matters to the Fearless Voices who spoke to an audience in the GroupM space at the Martinez hotel in Cannes.
It matters to the women of color entrepreneurs who are submitting start-up company ideas to She Runs It and digitalundivided through the START program we launched in June. A cohort of 10 to 15 individuals will be selected from the applications to receive mentoring, tools, and guidance that will help them develop their ideas into investor pitches.
And it matters to mentees like Laide Ayodeji, an account strategist with Google, who was paired with Elizabeth Donovan, Global Director, Head of Ad Revenue, Marriott Media Network, for the spring 2021 mentoring session. In a letter to She Runs It’s Nadia McDowell (who leads the Northeast mentoring program), Laide summarized the benefits of mentorship by sharing her own experience. Much of what she wrote follows.
As you read her letter, keep in mind that mentoring applications for the Fall session have officially opened this week and the program duration will be from September 2022 through June 2023. If you want to experience the advocacy, support, and encouragement that comes with having a mentor in your corner, please go to the membership section on sherunsit.org and look for the link to the application.
From Laide’s letter:
Here are a few highlights that have resulted from our connection:
- Role Transition: Elizabeth and I met for our first two meetings, and I was beginning my new role at Google. Having been unemployed for nearly a year due to the pandemic, I was quite apprehensive about starting a new role and adjusting to a virtual environment. However, Elizabeth was able to walk me through tips and tricks that would enable me to hit the ground running, and quickly adjust to the virtual environment.
- Work Life Balance: Working from home presents its own difficulties as it can be difficult to make space for yourself and establish boundaries. Elizabeth and I spent one of our monthly sessions reviewing methods for making space for yourself. This enabled me to establish calendar time blocks and daily realistic productivity targets, which has improved my overall wellbeing and helped me to avoid burn-out.
- Self-Advocating: One of the biggest takeaways and development items that we have focused on is self-advocating at work and being able to use this for internal career opportunities, promotion, and negotiation. Together, we were able to create a deck template for me to use as I navigate promotional opportunities and showcase my skills and progress to my management team.