One of my favorite parts of running Light Reading's Women in Comms is getting to meet so many impressive, influential women and hearing their personal stories and advice for other women in the industry. By doing the interviews, I get a good dose of mentoring, and I get to share it with everyone. (See Mentor Monday: Meet the First 65 and Mentors Among Us: 65 Inspiring Women in Comms.)
In a recent Mentor Monday interview with Boingo Wireless Inc. CMO Dawn Callahan, she shared that the proudest moment in her career was when a woman she had mentored from an assistant level got promoted to a vice president position. It says a lot about Callahan that she chose this as the defining moment in her career, and I think it also captures the goal of a good mentor well too: to create other strong leaders. (See How Boingo's Dawn Callahan Swallowed Fear & Tasted Success.)
Mentoring is about much more than showing a younger colleague the ropes at your company or teaching them the skills to succeed in their role. It's a personal, authentic relationship that ultimately should make both of you better leaders. (See 3 Qualities of Leaders, Mentors & Mentees.)
This recent article in the Harvard Business Review captured the job of (good) mentors well: they put the relationship before the mentorship, focus on character rather than competency, shout loudly with optimism and keep quiet with cynicism and they are more loyal to their mentee than to the company.
Every woman in comms should strive to be mentored and be a mentor themselves at some point -- maybe the same point -- in their careers. Mentors are consistently cited as an important way for women to get ahead in the workplace; feel supported; and build a rewarding, sustainable career. (See Mentor Matters and Making Mentoring a Priority.)
It's often easier said than done, however, to both find a mentor and foster that relationship and to be an effective mentor yourself. That's why, for our next Women in Comms networking breakfast event, we are focusing on all things mentoring. I am excited to be joined by Jenelle Champlin, director of customer experience at Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK); Kimberly Eubank, head of operations at Vodafone Americas ; Kristell Janusz, vice president of engineering at Atlantic Broadband ; and Wendy Hall Bohling, CEO of Corporate Cowgirl Up for a discussion on mentoring.
We will tackle everything from how to identify a mentor, fostering mentoring relationships, the mistakes women tend to make, the best questions to ask your mentor or mentee, "counter-mentoring," sponsors, the role men can play and much more. As always, there will also be plenty of time to take all of your questions.
It's going to be a great morning of networking and discussion and, who knows, you might even find your mentor here in Denver! We hope you'll join us on Wednesday, March 22, at 7:00 a.m. ahead of day two of the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference in Denver. You can find more information and register to attend the free event right here: WiC in Denver.
— Sarah Thomas, , Director, Women in Comms