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  • Claire Revell

From Doubt to Determination: The Power of Mentorship and Investing in Women


Join me in celebrating International Women's Day by exploring the incredible power of mentorship in empowering women in the tech industry and beyond.


At 18 years old, I was a young woman diving into the world of tech, and I faced my fair share of challenges! One of which was the lack of support and guidance from my schoolteachers, who instead of cheering me on, discouraged me from pursuing this career path.  Armed with determination and a thirst for knowledge - I took matters into my own hands and embarked on a journey of self-discovery and resilience.


Now, as CEO of Intellek, a global learning technology company, I am passionate about paying it forward and empowering the next generation of women through mentorship. My own experience taught me the need for this, and I've seen firsthand the incredible impact it can have.


Sophie, my Junior Personal Assistant, started her career in a sandwich shop. At 18 years of age, she felt lost and had no idea how to step into the world of business. She had a lack of confidence in her personal life and at work where simple tasks like making a restaurant reservation were overwhelming. Sophie didn’t have a clear understanding of what the roles in a business were; what is entailed in Finance Administration, Sales Development Representative, Content Management, Support Specialist etc?! These are all just Departments or Titles to many 18-year-olds, with no real understanding of what responsibilities and skills are required.


Through perseverance and the support of our mentoring program, Sophie discovered her passion for technology.  Over the past 18 months Sophie has blossomed, embracing her role with enthusiasm, dedication, and soaking up knowledge like a sponge. Sophie's confidence has grown and she’s happy to pick up the phone to anyone! Sophie has become an asset to our team- she's a Rockstar Junior Assistant and I couldn't be prouder.


Speaking of growth and being proud, let me share another success story. My friend Kelly had a dream of turning her car washing side hustle into a thriving car valeting business. She was hesitant to take the leap because she didn't know where to turn for support.


I agreed to mentor Kelly and provide her with the guidance and support she needed to make her dream a reality. Fast forward one year, and Kelly's business is booming. She's fully booked for 2-3 months ahead and is running a successful car valeting operation. From handling invoices to managing monthly accounts, Kelly has mastered the ins and outs of running her business, and she's thriving.


These stories of success are a testament to the power of mentorship in empowering individuals to pursue their passions, overcome challenges, and achieve their goals. Sophie and Kelly have done all the hard work, they just needed someone to lean on for knowledge and support. Whether it's navigating the tech industry or building a business from the ground up; mentorship has the power to transform lives and create a brighter future for us all.


One of the key lessons I've learned from mentoring Sophie, Kelly and many others, is the importance of understanding each individual's learning style and tailoring the approach accordingly. Clear expectations, dedicated time, and unwavering support are essential ingredients for a successful mentoring relationship.


Mentoring comes with its fair share of challenges, but with patience and perseverance, the rewards far outweigh the obstacles. Time management and resisting the temptation to take over tasks are common pitfalls, but learning to delegate and empower mentees is crucial for their growth and development.

Looking ahead, I am excited to expand a mentoring program to South Africa, where we can provide young girls with the opportunities they may not have thought possible. By instilling the belief that anything is achievable with courage and determination, we can empower the next generation.


Have you thought about starting a mentoring program? I’ve included a few suggested ways below to help you get started!


Let’s be part of the journey to invest in women to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030.


  1. Define Clear Objectives: Clearly outline the goals and objectives of the mentorship program, including what you hope to achieve and how it can align with your company's values and mission.

  2. Identify Program Participants: Determine who will participate in the mentorship program, whether it's open to all employees or targeted towards specific groups, such as women or new hires.

  3. Establish Program Structure: Decide on the structure of the program, including the duration, frequency of meetings, and format (e.g., one-on-one mentoring, group mentoring, peer mentoring).

  4. Recruit Mentors and Mentees: Spread the word and encourage employees to get involved and then match them based on their interests, goals, and areas of expertise.

  5. Provide Training and Resources: Offer training sessions or resources for mentors and mentees to help them develop effective relationships and communication skills.

  6. Set Clear Expectations: It's important to make sure everyone knows what's expected of them. What are the mentors and mentees responsible for, and what can they expect from the program.

  7. Facilitate Relationship Building: Create opportunities for mentors and mentees to get to know each other and build rapport, whether through initial meetings, networking events, or team-building activities.

  8. Encourage Goal Setting and Feedback: Encourage mentees to set specific, measurable goals for their personal and professional development, and provide regular feedback and support to help them achieve those goals.

  9. Monitor and Evaluate Progress: Regularly assess the progress and effectiveness of the mentorship program, gather feedback from participants, and make adjustments as needed to ensure its success.

  10. Celebrate Successes: Last but not least, celebrate the wins! Whether it's big milestones or small victories, make sure to give a shoutout to all the amazing mentors and mentees making this program awesome.

 

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