The value of mentorship, according to 5 women leaders

Women leaders in both the private and nonprofit sectors explain the value of mentorship.

Mentorship has been identified as a key foundation for the success of women entrepreneurs and women leaders. Devex spoke to five women leaders from the nonprofit and private sectors about the most successful forms of mentorship — and how they themselves have benefitted.

“I thought mentorship was about finding some older, gray-haired person who would be my soulmate in my career path and walk me through all of the different hurdles,” Linda Rottenberg, CEO and co-founder of Endeavor, told Devex.

But as she got older, Rottenberg adjusted her view of mentorship and now believes it’s a combination not only comprised of people younger and older, but also of peers and competitors — who often have the best advice.

“It takes the pressure off of one relationship,” she explained.

You also need people who are willing to put your name forward or to take a risk on what you can accomplish, Dina Dublon, member of the board of directors of Microsoft, Pepsi and Accenture, told Devex.

“Without someone giving you the opportunity, there is no way you can show your ability to perform…” Dublon said.

How has mentorship helped you further your career — and what advice would you give development professionals seeking a mentor?

Whether you’re a seasoned expert or budding development professional — check out more news, analysis and advice online to guide your career and professional development, and subscribe to Doing Good to receive top international development career and recruitment news every week.

About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is an Associate Editor for Devex. Based on the U.S. West Coast, she works with Devex's team of correspondents and editors around the world, with a particular focus on gender. She previously worked as Devex’s Southeast Asia correspondent based in Bangkok, covering disaster and crisis response, resilience, women’s rights, and climate change throughout the region. Prior to that, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.