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    MENTORING MATTERS: CULTIVATING FEMALE MENTORSHIPS IN BUSINESS
     
    The power of mentorship simply cannot be overstated. And as more people – whether they are younger members of the business community or experienced professionals – seek the counsel of a mentor, the need and opportunity for more female mentors continues to grow.
     
    The benefits of a mentor are practically endless – from having a trusted source for advice on navigating business relationships, to aiding and guiding women mentees through challenges or opportunities they face in the workplace.
     
    Further, mentoring can be one of the most effective ways to close the gender gap in business leadership. Many companies have recognized the value of mentorship and created programs to help build these relationships. They recognize that effective mentoring relationships help develop leadership skills, increase self-confidence and position more people for success, while also helping professionals navigate gender-specific obstacles to career advancement. 

    FINDING A STRONG MENTOR IS A KEY PART OF PROFESSIONAL GROWTH. CONSIDER THESE FACTORS:
    • What to Look for in a Woman Mentor in Business: Look for someone who exemplifies qualities you would like to have, has experience in your field or has skills or successes you would like to achieve. Also, look for someone who’s uniquely qualified to challenge you.
    • How to Find a Female Business Mentor: Networking is essential. Asking colleagues, working with professional networks or searching LinkedIn can all help. Don’t be afraid to ask. Show initiative. Be willing to illustrate how an investment of a mentor’s time will yield beneficial results.
    • How to Cultivate a Fruitful Relationship with Women in Business: Mentorship is a relationship that strengthens over time and exists because you build a solid connection. Once you have established a good foundation, ask for their continued support because of the knowledge you have gained.
     
    Mentoring is a cooperative partnership that works best if there is sincerity and honesty on both sides. Mentors should provide encouragement, reassurance and positive suggestions. Finding the right mentor may seem a bit daunting. But the rewards can be endless. And you may find there are many successful businesswomen across Montgomery and beyond who are more than willing to share their insights and invest in your success.
     
    MEET THE EXPERT
    Kristin Smith is Vice President and Trust Advisor at Regions Bank. Contact her at 334-677-2440.
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