5 Mentoring Models for Women

Mentoring. Men get it. Literally. Not as often do women. Literally.

Recently I attended a networking event, the Atlanta premiere of the documentary Dream, Girl Atlanta, where a panel of successful women shared their stories. During the Q&A a discussion occurred about mentoring. The consensus was mentoring is a valuable resource that can help grow a career. However, many women who would be wonderful mentors shy away from the time commitment. Others, who have not been mentored and have no role models, struggle with boundaries and expectations.

There are many, many ways we can build these quasi formal relationships that become wins for both mentor and mentee. Here are five ideas. As in any business relationship that goes beyond one coffee chat set expectations in terms of time and deliverables.

  1. Function. Nancy Chorpenning, C-Suite Advisors, suggests short-term, as needed, mentoring that focuses on a specific topic. For example you might need support in a finance analysis or developing management processes that helps you get to the next level. Once you understand the concepts, the ‘mentoring’ ends.
  2. Exchange. Build a mentor relationship that is reciprocal. Identify a person who has a different background than yours who might value and need your expertise and where you can benefit from hers.
  3. Traditional. This type of mentorship usually begins where the mentor is in a position that is senior to the mentee. Usually both people are in the same industry or company. But often interesting learnings come from people who work in different industries or departments.
  4. Peer-to-Peer. I like to call this one learning together. Similar to the Exchange relationship, peer-to-peer mentoring is often a seesaw ride where the mentor roles swing back and forth based on need.
  5. Junior-to-Senior. The opposite of Traditional, in this relationship the mentor holds a junior level position to the mentee’s more senior role. This type of relationship is frequently used to help executives understand technology.

Love to hear about your mentor-mentee relationships and structures.

If you are looking for a mentoring relationship as you start thinking about launching a business, join the Corporate Fugees private Facebook Tribe or learn more about our online MasterMind circles for women.


This is a guest post by Toby Bloomberg, founder of Diva Marketing blog, noted by Forbes as one of the 20 best blogs on social media and marketing by a woman. Her passion is helping brands tell their stories in the digital conversation world. She is the cofounder of Diva Foodies which serves the culinary world including chefs and food entrepreneurs. Toby works with clients to ensure social media/digital initiatives are integrated, accountable and reflect the brand’s core values. She is also available for training and event presentations. Connect with Toby on Diva Marketing Blog,Twitter and on Diva Foodies@DivaFoodies

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