Health & Wellness / Roadmap To Gender-Balance In The Workplace: Key Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor

Roadmap To Gender-Balance In The Workplace: Key Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor

Health & Wellness Mar 06, 2019

The campaign for this year’s International Women’s Day is focused on creating more gender-balance in the working world. Mentoring can be a mindful, collective way to support cultivating more equality in corporations. Check out our mindful ways on being a magnificent mentor!

 

What Is International Women’s Day (IWD)?

Since 1911, IWD has been a force in the movement towards global gender-equality. It fosters change by celebrating the political, economic, social and cultural achievements of women while inspiring a call to year-round action for continuing to advocate for changes that support gender-equality.

IWD does a phenomenal job of highlighting the importance of gender-equality in all aspects of life by choosing a different theme each year; 2019 is about highlighting the lack of balance in the business world.

 

Why Is This Year’s IWD Theme So Important?

As eloquently described by the IWD page, “balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue…it’s essential for economies and communities to thrive.”

Despite an increase in education levels among women and more presence in the workforce, men still dominate leadership roles and make more money than women in the same jobs. There’s an estimated gender pay gap of 20% (women make 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men). Research predicts the pay gap won’t be neutralized until about 2059 but we can change that by taking action now! One way is through developing and sustaining mentor-ship programs for women in the workplace.

 

Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor
Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor: Girls of India press for progress at a past International Women’s Day.  Photo Credit: https://www.internationalwomensday.com

 

How Can Workplace Mentoring Programs For Women Support The IWD 2019 Campaign Theme?

Mentoring programs have several benefits that can help foster more gender equality including:

Creating opportunities for women to network : There’s some truth in the old saying that it’s not what you know but who you know when it comes to corporate success.

Providing a support system through building relationships : This can prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Inspiring confidence: Mentees can meet successful leaders they may not be exposed to otherwise, especially early in their careers.

Encouraging on-going education: This can be done through sharing different tools, resources and organizations that can offer more and/or continued support.

 

Ask your workplace if they have a mentor-ship program: If not, it may be your call to action to start one) and get involved!

 

Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor
Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor: Workplace mentor-ship helps the gender equality movement. Photo Credit: https://www.gqrgm.com

 

So, You’re Considering Or Have Signed Up To Be A Mentor, Now What? 

Check out our tips on way to be a mindful, motivating mentor:  

Ask instead of assuming: Start with a simple, open question on what your mentee hopes to gain from the relationship. Don’t go into the first meeting with a list of suggestions or a pre-conceived plan based on what you assume they need, start by getting to know them and let them tell you.

Practice deep listening: As a mentor, you should be listening more than speaking. Encourage your mentee to find and/or express their own unique voice and by creating an open, safe environment where they can share their thoughts, aspirations and goals without feeling judged.

Promote present-moment presence (mindfulness): Learning a bit about your mentee’s past can be helpful but remember you’re a mentor not a therapist. Should your mentee continue to focus on the past or future, gently pull their attention back to the present. Long-term goals are important but it’s imperative to reach them in a healthy way that fosters happiness though current actions. For example, working 12-hour days consistently can negatively impact overall health and wellbeing. The race in the working-world is more of a marathon than a sprint; focusing solely on work can be counterproductive as positive psychology research shows that happy people (with healthy relationships and hobbies) are more successful in business.

Share your stress-management techniques: Don’t paint a picture of perfection. You’ll be more helpful to your mentee if you’re honest about challenges and share some tips on how you navigate through them. Stress is a natural part of work that should be acknowledged to help them develop a realistic, healthy approach to resiliency.

Guide your mentee to greatness: Often with good intentions we give too much advice and/or want to “fix” problems. You’ll help your mentee more in the long-run if you guide them to finding their own solutions instead of giving them the answers. It’s important your mentee develops confidence in their own abilities to problem-solve and rationalize how to reach their goals.

 

 

Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor
Mindful Ways On Being An Magnificent Mentor: Join one of the marches all over the world: here’s Delhi in 2016. Photo Credit: http://time.com

 

Looking For Other Ways To Get Involved With IWD?

There’s tons! Check out the IWD webpage for suggestions. Countries also honor and mark the day in their own unique ways based on their social, political and cultural gender-equality issues. India for example has several organizations that do important, inspiring work beyond the campaign’s yearly theme (violence towards women for example), check out the India IWD webpage here.

 

Main Image Photo Credit: https://www.vitalvoices.org/2016

Rachna Sethi

Rachna Sethi

Author

Rachna (@mindfullyyours)is a graduate of the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program from the University of Toronto, a certified Educator with two bachelor degrees and a diploma in Art Therapy. She's dedicated to living with a compassionate approach. Committed to helping people integrate Mindfulness...

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