I recently re-visited Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In : Women, Work and the Will To Lead”. I had 3 women approach me for mentoring in the one week. I remembered she has some excellent advice on Mentoring. While this is normal part of my work, it is always helpful to step back now and again and reflect on what I am doing as a mentor and why I am doing it.
There was one part of her Chapter 5 on “Are You My Mentor?” that really got me thinking about my initial conversations with these 3 new mentees. She believes that many women coming for mentoring want a dependency relationship with their mentor which she says is not at all helpful for women. So what she said provoked me to think about how I wanted to engage with my 3 new mentees so that the relationship was an empowering one for them. I share my 7 insights here with my readers.Read More
One of the on-going issues I find in my mentoring work with women is their wish to be the assertive woman leader, yet at the same time their fear to be so. There is always that sense that they feel trapped – damned if they do, doomed if they don’t. If they be assertive, they are seen to be untrue to their femininity; they are seen to be uncaring. They are regarded as being very forthright, in a negative sense. When men are forthright they are seen as ambitious in a positive sense. Woman are also caricatured by comments like: “She wears the pants” or worse “She’s got balls.” She’s like the men, in other words. It is a damning account.
On the other hand, if they don’t be assertive, their careers are doomed for they become invisible in their organisations and professional and industry sectors. Their potential and talent goes unrecognised. They can feel used. As one woman said to me: “Maree, I’m not walked over like a doormat, I’m wall-to-wall carpet.”Read More
International Women’s Day 2016 is a good day to decide to face head on the challenge you face as a woman in integrating your personal and professional life. I have shared here 15 actions for you to consider in making that happen. Most importantly, don’t give up when the going gets tough. Too many women find the struggle of balancing the competing demands of their work and family too stressful and give up on their work. When this happens make it “Our” problem – yours as a couple, not just yours as a mother or professional woman. Talk it through with your partner. Talk with your mentor or coach. Be proactive first, before being reactive. Get clear what the issues are. Ask yourself: what do I really want to happen here? Think laterally: how could I make that happen in this situation? Or,what’s the closest I can get to what I want in this situation?Read More