Let’s Stop Telling Young Ambitious Women to Find a Mentor

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Kaytie Zimmerman is an optimistic millennial, and so much so that she founded a blog of the same name. Her mission: propelling millennial women to become the leaders of tomorrow. Kaytie  interviewed me for the column she writes for Forbes.


For at least the last decade, career experts have advised young ambitious women to find a mentor to help them progress up the ladder. While a mentor can help a young, less experienced worker chart the path before them, experts are now adding that women also need a sponsor to push them ahead.

It’s 2017, but we’re still discussing the differences in how millennial women must approach their career. Unfortunately, the statistics still speak to the gap.

Women are more educated than men. Pew Research stated that, “By 2013, 37% of women ages 25 to 29 had at least a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30% of men in the same age range.” Women also outpace men in attainment of MBA degrees.

Despite having more education than men, women pale in comparison to the male ranks in company management. PricewaterhouseCoopers found that women are voluntarily terminated at a two or three times faster rate than men once they’ve attained experienced points in their career, usually capping around senior manager level.

The answer often offered to this problem is to assign promising women a mentor. However, this approach is inadequate for the modern woman. Women don’t need to be told which experience to add to their resume. They need someone to place their resume on a higher desk.

Sponsors are influential leaders who can open the door to new career opportunities, like promotions and coveted assignments,” said Jo Miller, Founder of Be Leaderly, a career strategy firm. “Mentors guide you as you navigate everyday hurdles in the workplace. While mentors help you skill up, sponsors help you move up.”

Continue reading Kaytie Zimmerman’s article, Stop Telling Millennial Women to Find a Mentor, for Forbes.com.

Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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