Did you know CEO’s often have mentors?

That those that mentor are more likely to be promoted?

The protégé will be more productive.

Employee churn is lower among mentors and protégés.

And even entrepreneurs benefit from having a mentor.

Diversity pays both in innovation and better financial performance.  To encourage women to pursue and stay in STEM jobs, there needs to be women in leadership, and it needs be clear women are wanted at the top.  Research shows without this they will resign to join synergistic organizations where their leadership qualities will be recognized. To fill the demand for the growing number of jobs in STEM organizations need to find a way to at track and keep women in STEM.

Often women pursuing a career in STEM find themselves the only woman in the room, which can leave them feeling isolated.  The most productive and successful employees are those that are engaged, feel a part of the team and have the opportunity to contribute.   An organization that offers both mentoring and leadership coaching will be an organization that empowers women of STEM to thrive.

Coaching and Mentoring: Similar but Not the Same

While the terms coaching and mentoring are similar in their support of someone’s development, they involve very different disciplines.

A mentor can help an employee become more knowledgeable, effective in their current job and navigate the learning curve much faster. The mentor becomes a source of information, teaching, and support, but not someone who observes and advises on specific actions or behavioral changes in daily work.

Leadership coaching typically involves a relationship of finite duration, with a focus on strengthening or eliminating specific behaviors that lead to the individual developing leadership skills. Coaches help professionals correct behaviors that detract from their performance and strengthen those that support stronger performance around a given set of activities.

Mentoring

Can be a formal or informal relationship.  A mentor can serve as a sounding board and help new employee assimilate into the company.

Mentoring Benefits:

Protégées

  • Increased knowledge transfer
  • Motivation for professional development and accountability
  • Achievement of goals and objectives
  • Stronger and bigger internal networks
  • Increased teamwork

Protégés aren’t the only ones who benefit from mentoring relationships.

Mentors

  • Develop leadership skills
  • Demonstrate their ability to take on greater responsibilities
  • Satisfaction of helping others
  • Are more likely to be promoted

Protégées and Mentors

  • Higher degree of engagement
  • Increased job satisfaction

Companies/Organizations

  • Higher productivity
  • Lower employee churnLeadership Coaching

     

    Leaders are at the core of organizations. Providing leadership coaching to women in STEM and developing women leaders will increase diversity at all levels of the organization. Leadership coaching empowers leaders to do exceptional work.

    Leadership Coaching is an individualized process that builds a leader’s capability to achieve short- and long-term organizational goals. The leadership coach partners with a client to maximize their professional potential for a defined period and with a specific business purpose in mind.

    A study of Fortune 1000 companies showed that 48% of leaders that underwent coaching exhibited an increase in work quality. This led to higher engagement and productivity, improving their effectiveness as leaders.

    Benefits of Leadership Coaching:

    Empowerment

    Coaches establish a relationship that uncovers hidden strengths and weaknesses within the leader.  Reflective sessions with a coach empower a leader to fully recognize their improvements and appreciate the work they have done to meet those goals.

    Confidence and New Insight

    Leaders gain new perspective on everyday responsibilities. The coach pushes them to step back and reflect when a leader is having a bad day or week, often uncovering a deeper problem. Together, they discover new insights into the leader’s reaction by analyzing the problem and creating a plan for similar situations in the future and leading to greater confidence.

    Improved Communication

    Coaching enables leaders to realize that their communication isn’t always as clear as they think. Coaches can guide leaders to discover areas of communication that need improvement.

    Increased Team Engagement

    Leaders need to connect with team members and that means developing active listening skills to see the whole picture. A leader who masters this skill develops credibility and team engagement.

    What if My Organization Doesn’t Offer Mentoring or Leadership Coaching?

    If the company or organization, you work for does not offer either you can seek out both on your own.  Remember mentoring can be an informal relationship and you can often find people within your own organization that will be willing to mentor you.  Start with something as simple as a cup of coffee to explore a relationship.  Also, many professional organizations offer mentoring and they are also an excellent source of learning and networking.

    You can also find a leadership coach outside of work and the benefits are many.  With video conferencing you don’t need to live in a big city to find a coach, you can have a coaching session from the comfort of your home or even when you are on the road.

    When there isn’t a formal mentoring programing in the workplace, employees should look for an informal relationship.  Look for role models and someone you connect with.  Keep in mind this is a relationship and should provide benefits to both parties.

    Work isn’t necessarily the only place where to find a mentor. Also look at industry and volunteer organizations. Toastmasters not only helps you develop better communication skills; it provides an opportunity to develop leadership skills and provides mentors for their members. Here in the DC area Women in Technology (WIT) offers a mentoring program.  As a mentor in this program, I can vouch for the benefits and growth so many women have experienced.

    Summary

    Mentoring and Leadership coaching help eliminate feelings of isolation, provide higher engagement, needed information and guidance, resulting in an employee that are highly productive and stay.  Companies that commit to employee development cultivate trust and loyalty. Leadership coaching and mentoring are two important ways they can be a magnet for women in STEM and provide an environment for them to thrive.