Mentoring in business is one of the most powerful tools in supporting young women to make waves within their industry.
At WERKIN, it is our goal to connect talented people just starting out in their careers with supportive and knowledgeable mentors, both within and outside of their organisations, who help them to learn, stretch and grow.
I have personally seen the impact mentoring can have on someone early in their career. Throughout my career, a number of influential people have helped steer me on my journey - not least of which, my business partner and co-founder at WERKIN, Angella Newell.
That being said, moving up through the ranks of different organisations, I found it difficult to identify female mentors, with many businesses simply not filling their top-ranking positions with female talent.
In many ways, it was this lack of strong female role models in my own career that drove me to be so passionate about the work we're doing now to increase the visibility of more female leaders and the work they do through ongoing mentoring programmes.
It's not just about mentoring though. Sponsorship, having an advocate at the top, is an essential part of ensuring young women are receiving the support they need to challenge the status quo in many male-dominated sectors.
As a female LGBT founder of a technology business, every day I witness how gender bias affects the tech industry. However, by supporting more young women to move into STEM careers, I believe the common excuse that there is a ‘pipeline problem,’ will become invalid.
Overall, the work we do and the people we meet at WERKIN has really opened my eyes to the vast female talent that already exists. It’s not necessarily a ‘pipeline’ problem, but a visibility problem. It is simply a matter of supporting more young women to develop the confidence, skills and knowledge that will ultimately lead them to achieving lasting and fulfilling careers.
I also believe that new technologies can play a positive and disruptive role in addressing gender issues in many industries, not just tech. This passion for technology as a solution to some of the world’s most stubborn problems is something that will continue to drive WERKIN.
For more insights on sponsorship and inclusion in the tech and finance industries, check out Hayley’s podcast, Werkin With.
WERKIN aim to create a dedicated mentoring programme to encourage and guide other LBW not only through the ‘politics’ of coming out/being out at work but also a mentoring programme for forging a good career in its own right. Find out more here.