Don’t Have A Mentor? You’re In The Minority.

Taken from here.

If there was any doubt before, a new study confirms some good news: The vast majority of professional women rely on mentors in their careers. A brand-new LinkedIn survey of 1,000 women found that 81% of them had had a mentor. This Forbes post spins that news pessimistically: “Nearly one out of every five women in the United States does not have a mentor.” But I prefer to look the glass half full — actually, way more than half full. If 81% of professional women have mentors in this country, that means mentorship has become fully entrenched as a reality of professional life. Those who don’t have mentors are the odd women out.

Now, it’s not like we don’t have room to improve. LinkedIn asked the 19% of women who hadn’t been mentored why that was, and 52% of them said they had “never encountered someone appropriate.” The survey also talked to women who had never served as a mentor. The reason why? Sixty-seven percent of them said “no one ever asked.” (Where have we heard that before?)

This underscores the point that getting a mentor relationship started is often the hardest point. The mentee has to be the one to initiate, and that can be a big step to take. But it’s a crucial one.

Of course, mentoring isn’t everything. An international study by Catalyst last year found that men with mentors are more likely to get promotions and raises than women with mentors; mentored women are far less likely to benefit from those relationships. Catalyst pointed to sponsors — “mentors who advocate for promotions and high-profile development opportunities” — as the answer to narrowing the gap.

Still, the LinkedIn numbers indicate that mentorship is now the norm. If you’re dithering over finding the “perfect” mentor, or you’re nervous about approaching the mentor you have in mind, it’s time to woman up and go for it.

Photo: Alexander Raths /

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