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Women Business Mentors

Q. It seems much harder for women in business to find mentors. There are not that many experienced women available and also I have found they seem to be less willing to assist than some of the men.

Should I pursue a male mentor or what other advice would you give? Thank you for your time.


Dear Kerri,

Depending on the size of business you are in, sometimes it is helpful to have a woman's group meet and talk over a 2-hour lunch once per month. Set the agenda and have the women share their challenges and successes, everything from client development issues to child care concerns.

If your work environment is smaller, choose a woman you really respect and ask her to mentor you; her response could surprise you.

Alternatively, seek membership in an organization that supports your business (e.g. NAWBO, NEOSA, Key4Women) and get support there. I am a fan of trying to mentor with a woman because our male colleagues just don't have the same struggles, challenges or balls to juggle.

It is much more meaningful to learn from someone who has achieved what you dream of becoming, than to pattern yourself after a male model that doesn't fit your framework.

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Cathy Horton-Panzica
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