The Value of Mentoring, by the PWH Mentoring Comittee

| Eryn Marx

According to a recent Forbes article on mentoring, only 76% of people think mentors are important, however, only 37% of people currently have one.


Informal and formal mentoring programs have shown the value mentoring has on someone’s professional career; yet, there is such a discrepancy between wanting and acting on a mentoring relationship. They are rewarding for both parties involved. Mentees (or those seeking guidance to grow in their professional career) can get the help and support they need while Mentors (or those who provide guidance) share their experiences and offer insights.

How can mentoring help mentees?

A mentee is one whose career and professional development is furthered by a person with a wealth of knowledge, experiences and who offers counsel – the mentor. Engaging in a mentoring relationship allows for the development of an external self-awareness for a mentee. When a person has a good sense of self, they tend to be more creative, confident, and are those employees who get better promotions, according to this Harvard Business Review article What self-awareness really is (and how to cultivate it). Yet, it notes that self-awareness is a rare quality that most folks have not yet mastered - in fact, research points to only 10-15% of people do. Seeking an external perspective of self-awareness is one of the most remarkable outcomes that a mentoring relationship brings for a mentee. Often a mentee has clear goals developed and knows a direction they want to head or what area they want to build, yet the question that often is overlooked is not the “why,” but the “what.” In other words, “what” will help me stay on task to reach my objective and goals, with a focus on the current and future?” Understanding the steps to take to fashion that future involves the specifics of what “what” brings from a mentoring relationship.

How can mentoring help mentors?

A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser. Because self-awareness is not one truth, by sharing steps to develop strategies, achieve goals, or overcome obstacles toward that professional vision a mentee has is a gift that an authentic, trusted mentor brings to the relationship. Make no mistake, however, the mentor gains as much self-awareness and insight throughout the relationship by sharing values and the gift of valuable time. Dedicating time and the ability to offer guidance and counsel given their own trials and tribulations provides the opportunity to build strong individuals who compliment the workplace with their unique talents with a differing lens only gleaned through the mentor’s eyes. We never stop growing and learning, and that is exciting!

If you are interested in getting involved where do you start?

Put yourself out there if you want to start with an informal relationship by asking someone you would like to speak to if they have some time to meet because you would like to get professional advice. Put yourself out there if you have stories and experiences where someone else may benefit and grow professionally. It is a two-way street that we traverse to become our best selves. Many companies in our industry offer formal mentoring programs within the organization. There is also a value in being a part of an external formal relationship. As a member benefit, PWH offers a mentor program where you are matched with other individuals within our industry. Click here to learn more about our mentoring program.

Submitted by:
PWH Mentoring Committee
Eryn Marx
Khaki Weber
Selena Culpepper
Justine Albright