Mentoring for Gen Z Women
COVID-19 disrupted entry into the workplace for many Gen Z women. One of the challenges is for them to discover the benefits of mentoring.
COVID-19 disrupted entry into the workplace for many Gen Z women. Some were interviewed, hired, and onboarded completely online, others went straight into lockdown as soon as they got their offers. The chances to forge strong relationships with their colleagues and other people in the organisation have also been impacted by different versions of hybrid working. Research shows that frequently it’s senior leaders who work from home.
One of the challenges is for them to discover the benefits of mentoring for Gen Z women when they physically interact far less with senior female leaders in person than they did before COVID. Many large organisations are trying to address that such as Mckinsey and L’Oreal.
8 Benefits of Mentoring for Gen Z Women
1. Find clarity around career goals
A good mentor can help them find clarity around their short-term career goals and guide them in identifying their strengths, passions, and values for longer-term strategy.
2. Career Development
A mentor can help guide the mentee in their career development and provide valuable advice and insights into career progression within the organisation, as well as the industry, sector, and profession. They can help the mentee formulate a career plan for their next steps.
3. Networking Opportunities
Gen Z women more than any other generation have been cut off from networking opportunities, especially if they entered the workforce during the pandemic or even just before. A mentor is a great person to make network introductions, offering mentees the possibility to build relationships to expand their horizons and develop connections that will help them in the future.
3. Personal Development
One of the benefits of mentoring Gen Z women is to highlight areas for personal development and growth. This can be in terms of both their hard and soft skills. They can share their own learning experiences or guide them in making choices around formal training and learning. This is not about fixing women so they fit into a male-coded system.
All research suggests that work-life balance is critical to Gen Z overall and a driving career motivator. A mentor can offer advice on the best ways to prioritise workload and how to balance their work with personal lives. This is especially important for Gen Z women who more than any other generation are not willing to let their personal lives take second place in their professional activities.
5. Role Model
A strong mentor will be a positive role model for the mentee and be an inspiration to choose their goals and follow their career path in their own way.
6. Navigating office politics
One of the hardest elements of starting work in any organisation is understanding how the unwritten rules work. This is about the way things are done in a particular company which employees accept and align with. It’s also about the subtext behind key relationships such as who make things happen (not always the senior leaders) and who to go to for operational support. This may be outside the official organisation chart.
A mentor can also offer great insights into the traps of unconscious bias and discrimination in the organisation. They can advise how or where to look out for them (getting feedback, the protocol in meetings, stretch assignments, promotions) and how to overcome them.
7. Knowledge Transfer
Tapping into the expertise of mentors can be an invaluable benefit of mentoring Gen Z women. They have access to huge depths of knowledge and nuggets of advice or resources, related to their area of expertise.
8. Reverse Mentoring
In all of this one of the often unquoted benefits of mentoring for Gen Z women is the value they get from sharing their own experiences with a senior woman. They have the opportunity to give additional cross-generational insights to help women leaders manage their teams and in return gain confidence-building validation. So a win-win.
Download our eBook Mentoring: The Ultimate Guide
Mentoring is frequently underrated by data pulled from large multinationals where they claim that women are “over-mentored and under-sponsored.” 90% of businesses are SMEs where women are neither mentored or sponsored. Perhaps more than any other generation Gen Z have missed out on opportunities to forge mentoring relationships organically. Many organisations do not have experience in mentoring programmes for hybrid or remote employees.
Download the 3Plus eBook Mentoring: The Ultimate Guide HERE.
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