- Women are reclaiming their roles within the workplace and are eager to rise through the ranks within their respective industries.
- Career advancement for women is often easier said than done as they face more roadblocks to upward movement than their male counterparts.
- When women mentor women, they create a shortcut to success in which they can help women develop leadership skills as well as the ability to advocate for themselves.
The pandemic forced millions of women out of the workforce; in fact, 1 in 5 women were pushed out of their jobs.
Now, women are reclaiming their roles within the workplace and are eager to rise through the ranks within their respective industries.
Career advancement for women is often easier said than done as they face more roadblocks to upward movement than their male counterparts.
If women can’t visualize career progression, they may not stay at a company long enough to achieve it. To counteract that, employing a mentorship program is crucial, especially for women, to push for equity in promotions and career advancement.
The fact is, mentorship is invaluable.
Employees with mentors are promoted five times more often than their non-mentored peers, and retention and promotion rates for women participating in mentoring programs increased from 15% to 38%.
Mentors provide women with guidance on navigating their careers, advice on skill development, and ongoing support. Despite this, only 37% of women have had a mentor in their careers, and only 56% of companies have formal mentoring programs.
When women mentor women, they create a shortcut to success in which they can help women develop leadership skills as well as the ability to advocate for themselves. Female mentors can also train and equip younger women with skills that can help them negotiate a raise, ask for a well-deserved promotion, or better benefits.
In a Q&A with Lana Peters, VP at Hibob in the Americas, she explained how mentorship plays a critical role in female advancement in the workplace.
Allwork.Space: Why is career advancement for women often easier said than done?
Lana Peters: According to the World Economic Forum, it’ll take 267.6 years to close the gender pay gap. While women have begun returning to the workforce, there are still clear disparities when it comes to career advancement.
While 53% of women professionals in the US believe that women and men in their company are promoted equally, 34% felt men are promoted more often or quicker than women, according to a recent HiBob survey.
HiBob also found that 33% of respondents in the US reported that their company has a balanced female/male leadership. While these findings show some positive shifts, there’s still a long way to go.
Companies need to make women’s careers a priority to encourage a healthy and positive workplace culture. Oftentimes, lack of support and resources hinders women’s chances of upward movement within their company while potentially hurting employee retention.
It’s clear that companies understand the value women bring to their teams. 31% of respondents surveyed by HiBob in the US reported that their company has made a visible commitment to developing more women leaders in the past year.
Offering mentorship, schedule flexibility and continuous training can help create a path forward in women’s careers and success in their roles.
Allwork.Space: What are the promotion disparities among women?
According to Women in the Workforce, the broken rung is a dynamic that occurs at the beginning of the pipeline — at the first step up from entry-level to manager. At this critical juncture, we see a significant gender disparity in promotion and hiring rates.
For every 100 men that are promoted and hired to manager, only 72 women are promoted and hired. This disparity means that men end up holding 62% of manager-level positions, while women hold only 38%. This sets the disparity in motion early in the process which is exacerbated as careers progress all the way to the C-Suite.
Women are also less likely to ask for a promotion or raise for that matter. To combat this, we need to ensure we’re using tools and resources that clearly support and encourage equity in both promotions and salaries among all employees based on a succinct and fair set of criteria.
Allwork.Space: Is employing a mentorship program beneficial for women in particular?
Offering the appropriate resources for women to excel in their roles is the first step in creating a more equitable workforce. While things like lactation rooms, office daycare and maternity leave are ways companies have traditionally supported women in the workforce, companies need to take more steps to ensure they’re offering meaningful benefits to all women – not just working mothers.
Providing a support system and a listening ear through a mentorship program helps women in more junior roles develop their confidence as well as their leadership skills. Mentors are there to share their advice while offering tips on how to create a path forward. They also offer women a safe space to voice their concerns or stresses within their role.
The direct line to upper management can help female employees understand their value within their teams which can create a stronger connection to their company and ultimately, better morale. In the long term, these programs are beneficial in career growth for both the mentor and the mentee, teaching empathy while building each other up for success.