Millennial Women - Professional Mentors
Based on information found in website articles, company research, credible blog posts, and women's foundation sites, we discovered that as low as 5% of millennial women in the workforce actively seek professional mentors, although those that find a mentor benefit greatly. Having the guidance of both male and female mentors is important, even though 72% of the women interviewed for a Georgetown research article expressed their desire for a female mentor.
Benefits of a Mentor for both business and individual
Millennials make up a majority of the US workforce, of which women make up almost 50%. According to one study, millennial women come with unique challenges that make traditional mentoring programs ineffective: They prioritize meaningful work over how much they are paid, they change jobs frequently, and believe companies must practice what they preach in order to gain their loyalty. As a result, however, the same study finds that these traits make women millennials more likely to desire and benefit from mentorship.
Being a millennial woman in the workforce also comes with identity problems. They are found to have higher levels of stress due to this, but can benefit from having professionals to look up to. Finding support via an elder in their work profession isn't easy as the professional women of old tended to model men in their effort to climb the corporate ladder. This would include issues like balancing family life and work life. If millennials can balance their appreciation for their women mentors while also scrutinizing aspects of them that don't hold up to their ideals, they can take from them important details that could evolve the standards of the working woman. This, according to Elizabeth Kelan of London's King College, will develop the millennial woman's ability to critically think and develop into the authentic leaders they aspire to become.
Millennial women desire mentoring. Organizations who provide formal mentoring programs saw an increase employee engagement, retention, and high-potential employees. Another study showed 68% of millennial employees planned to stay at their job for more than 5 years when being mentored versus the 32% who did not have a mentor.
Qualities of a Mentor
Forbes identifies millennials as having certain attributes based on the time period they were born and as such, they desire certain qualities in a mentor. Some of these attributes are being surrounded by stimuli, the ability to multitask, not valuing monetary gain, desiring recognition, and wanting to work for companies with a strong culture and ideals that mirror their own. As such, the following list are qualities and characteristics millennial women seek in a mentor.
- They seek guidance and support from people who have more rounded experience and perspectives, as opposed to those who don't. They desire a web of professional relationships with a wide variety of people who offer multiple perspective on life.
- They seek mentorship that constantly evolves. They want someone who relates to their needs and who can form a deep relationship on a personal and professional level.
- They want myriad of feedback, but they don't just want to be told exactly what is and isn't working. They want to be appreciated for what they're doing well, and trained on how to improve. They don't like anyone breathing down their neck, but they appreciate a mentor who will chime in on what they need to improve.
- They want less boss and more mentor in people with higher positions. Bosses and managers should be more approachable, and have the ability to encourage and guide. Millennials want their respect earned and don't want to feel like they have to respect higher-ups on account of authority alone.
- They want someone who sees potential in them, even if they are unable to see the potential within themselves. Someone who believes that they can do better is a driving force for improving performance. They want a mentor who can push them to evolve in the company they work for.
- They want time invested in them to develop genuine relationships in order to earn a mutual trust before opening themselves up to a mentor.
While the millennial women in the workforce have recognized their need for a certain level of TLC that has not been fully developed or implemented, the need for mentorship and the professional nurturing mentors supply has displayed a promising future for both women in the workplace and the businesses for which they choose to work.