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Importance of women mentoring women

Critical to becoming a leader in a corporate setting is the social access and business opportunities that come with one-to-one mentorship. Which means women in positions of power need to utilize that power to mentor and lift up other women – Forbes.com.

Young adults who are at risk for falling off-track but have a mentor are 55 percent more likely to enroll in University- Mentoring.org.

Mentoring, at its core, guarantees young people that there is someone who cares about them, assures them they are not alone in dealing with day-to-day challenges, and makes them feel like they matter.

People who are mentored:

Are better prepared for promotions and have higher success rates;

Stay with their organizations longer;

Feel more satisfied with their jobs and careers; and

Rate higher on performance measures.

Have greater impact in their organizations, are perceived as being more innovative and creative, show higher resilience to setbacks, and have stronger networks – CCL.org, CCL.org/PDF.

“If you can’t see other successful women who look like you, it’s harder to relate and design a path of your own,” says Shaunah Zimmerman, co-founder of Women Who Create – DDIWorld.com.

A strong mentorship program can also help young girls acquire the 21st century skills needed to succeed in school and adulthood

Mentorship is particularly important for Ghanaian girls due to the various barriers they face

On average, girls in Ghana stay in school for only four years, dropping out as a result of early marriage, pregnancy, poverty, sexual harassment and various other barriers. Adolescent pregnancy statistics from 2017 show that 14 percent of girls in Ghana aged from 15 from 19 have at least one child. Almost 52 percent of girls have endured gender-based violence whilst at school, that has deterred them from attending the school – BorgenProject.org.

It was observed through the project that all the girls were heavily influenced by gender stereotypes which negatively affected their views about the roles of women in society and their own aspirations in life. A possible explanation for this may be the fact that all the girls had been socialised through Ghanaian culture which strongly perpetuates  stereotypes and inequalities towards women. – EmpowerWomen.org.

Reverse Mentoring

Mentoring as a two way street can be more powerful than the ‘traditional mentoring’ scheme as the ‘mentee’ gets to feel a sense of leadership – HBR.org.

Mentee is given the opportunity to input, giving them a sense of ownership of the relationships

Reverse mentoring acknowledges that the more senior person is the one who is looking for a fresh outlook, thereby empowering the mentee to make decisions and ‘give back’

Although it’s the mentor’s job to share knowledge with the older mentee, the younger person also benefits. They have a ‘hotline’ to the director they’re working with, and can learn the key skills of leadership, putting them a steps ahead of other junior colleagues. The mentee also feels the reward of helping to shape a potential future business leader – PRS.uk.com.

Women empowerment due to two-way mentoring and tailored initiatives

Soronko Academy works with numerous women and girls from underprivileged backgrounds – SoronkoAcademy.com.

Curtailing the barriers through various programs such as Tech Needs Girls as well as empowering them once through classes (online and offline), they also make sure to provide continuous support to young women as they transition to jobs and to the next chapter of their lives

Soronko’s initiatives, especially the Tech Needs Girls programme incorporates informal mentorship into its curriculum. The women and girls who are enrolled are taught by female computer scientists and engineers, who serve as mentors and role models for the girls while simultaneously teaching them coding and technology skills – SoronkoSolutions.com.

Regina, through the Vlisco Women’s Mentoring Program is able to ‘formally mentor’ a young female entrepreneur MyJoyOnline.com.

With current global shifts, it is important to think creatively and strategically on mentor/mentee engagement

Whatsapp has become a critical tool for engagement as it provides video, audio and text opportunities. Whatsapp which has 1.5bn users globally, is especially influential in Africa. It is the most popular social platform in countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa – Medium.com, MessengerPeople.com, OnlineVolunteering.org.

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