Resources for Mentoring Women

A while ago, a friend from university days contacted me. He is mentoring a number of people in his organisation and was finding it hard to put his hands on resources that would address the specific issues his women colleagues were having. Although we haven’t seen each other in a while, he had followed my recent life changes and thought I would be able to help. I have managed to put a few things together, but I thought it might be useful to collect such material together, to help make it more available and useful for others. So I had the idea to put together this blog. As I find items, I will put them up. If you know of something good that isn’t here, please send it to me and I will add it to the platform.

Mentor People Who Aren’t Like You (HBR)

3 Thought-Provoking Questions To Ask Your Female Mentor (Forbes)

The Men who Mentor Women (HBR)
Male champions for women can be a tricky issue (I personally have deep reservations about the White Ribbon ambassadors, for example). This article outlines specific behaviours by male champions, mentors and coaches within organisations that lead to outcomes for the women they are supporting. Food for thought for any mentors I would say.

Sheryl Sandberg’s top 5 ways for women to support women (People)

The Conscious Style Guide (Zapier)
This guide encourages you to think about how to use language in an inclusive way. It covers gender as well as many other issues.

Women Are Using a New Hack to Take Certain Words Out of Their Emails (ATTN)
Did you know there was a Google plug-in to take the word “sorry” out of your emails?

How The Women On Obama’s Staff Made Sure Their Voices Were Heard (HuffPost)
I loved this story. A straightforward way that women can work together to tackle some of the challenges they face in the workplace.

Gender as a factor in negotiating raises (Nylon)
Interesting (and pretty shameful) article showing how important a factor gender is in negotiation. I’m doing some work on this for another project. I think we need to be teaching girls about worth,value and negotiation before they get near a job.

It takes hard work (Women’s Agenda)
Sometimes it’s easy to describe a problem, but less easy to work out how to solve it. This article describes how one CEO has gone about increasing women in her organisation, and provides some useful food for thought.

Five ways to boost your career opportunities (Talented Ladies’ Club)
I’m always wary of articles that start “Five ways to…” but these tips make good sense.

Five words that are killing your career (Women’s Agenda)
Another piece on the importance of language.

How to talk about female Olympians without being a regressive creep – a handy guide (Guardian)
How to write about women in [insert industry here]. This article is about the Olympics but could be about many other areas/industries.

Women tell us about the first time they they felt powerful (Vice)
There is incredible power in storytelling. Even simple stories can pack a punch. What are your stories about when you felt successful/powerful/energised? Thinking back to those times can help you identify what made them, which can help you rediscover that mojo.

Women, leadership and the myth of merit (SMH)
Whatever you think about quotas, this article raises the important question that the concept of merit is itself subjective. A useful reminder for women feeling overlooked in the workplace I think.

Six communication tips that promote workplace diversity (FastCompany)
Mentoring a woman in your organisation isn’t just about what she can do. It’s also about what everyone can do. This article suggests some communication actions that we can all think about in terms of how they impact on those around us.

Non-threatening leadership strategies for women (Cooper Review)
Satire helps too. This “advice” for women about how to be non-threatening is great…

Why don’t we trust angry women? (Psychology Today)
A psychology study suggests that when women lose their temper, they lose their influence with it. Does this mean women shouldn’t lose their temper in the workplace? That’s the inference but not the finding. But it is worth bearing in mind that the impact the anger will have might not be quite what you think.

Just Not Sorry app launched to help women by removing apologetic language from emails (ABC)
Someone has developed an app to stop women saying those little phrases that undermine them. I’m a horror for “Does that make sense?”. In my head I”m trying to make sure that I don’t move on without people having grasped what I’m saying, but I am fed up of hearing myself say it and totally see how it can come across as if I am not confident in what I have said.

How Our Idea Of “Strong Women” Unintentionally Hurts Female Leaders (Fast Company)
Language is incredibly important. I love this article about the problematic nature of the adjective “strong”. Thinking about language, including how you talk about yourself, seems to me to be a core part of coaching/mentoring.

The best reason yet to increase women in business leadership (Forbes)
Evidence is growing that having women leadership in an organisation is good for the bottom line. Women founders attract more investment, corporations with women at Board and C-suite level out-perform those with a more homogenous profile. Having said that, it does seem to me to be quite a functional argument and one that doesn’t really speak to the cultural change that is required. Or is that too cynical of me?

What is your body language really saying? (Women in Focus)
Some interesting ideas in here. I am a little guilty of the tilt in photos. I thought it was to create a bit of interest in the lines of the photo, but is that conditioning?!

 

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