Posted by: hannahhum | March 25, 2015

Mentoring

We have been studying women and leadership for a long time now and the general consensus after each reading or class is: how do we change the way women are seen as leaders, while including men? We realize something needs to change if we want to see more women as leaders. We have studied the many different influences and factors that contribute to women as leaders. Some of the challenges are a structural and some are personal. Like most, I want to find ways to change this. I always think about how we can change the way women are seen as leaders. Much of who we are comes from who we watch as we grow. Yesterday in class we discussed how we are shaped by the people we look up to. In ways, we emulate or avoid certain behaviors we see. For me it’s my mother who I look up to as well as my old lacrosse coach. My mother is a hard working woman who does not have an off switch and my lacrosse coach was bold and intelligent. Kate got the privilege of learning under strong and powerful women, and it made her the leader she is today. Each speaker showed us the women that shaped their careers as a women in leadership positions. Powerful women seem to have lasting impressions on others. This is where I see the most potential for change. Our last speaker talked to us about mentoring. It’s a powerful idea, which is centered around making the next person better. Using relationships to work together to establish a new and better society.

Mentoring by building relationships to enhance an individuals development, enabling an individual to become better, through a experience and modeling. One way I can see huge prospective for change is the way we are changing the way things are. One of the cool things about humans is that we are social animals, our lives depend on the influences of other humans. We develop and change through other people. As leaders we need to lead others. We need to change the way people see women as leaders. When society starts to change, I see it having a vast chain reaction. Pull and push factors like maternity leave, flexible work environments, and better research, could begin to change. This would lead to more women willing to lead because their circumstances enable them to lead. As leaders, it may be out duty to mentor others. I think the idea of mentoring has high potential for having a huge effect on society. If we start to enact change, by teaching others we could change the way men and women create society, after all that is what society is. Look at how it is already changing.

How do we change the way things are? Well in what ways are we changing? If we look where things are changing, then we can see that these changes are coming about due to other men and women who see the need for change. If we start creating and investing in other people the reaction will happen. People will begin to change. We just need to be the leaders with vision. What do you think?

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Responses

  1. I love that you discussed mentoring because it was not only something that I was passionate about before, but now after learning about the incredible value of it in this class I have become even more passionate about not only being mentored myself but mentoring others as well. After all, there is always room for growth and improvement no matter how “high up” you are.

    Changing things, especially in this area of gender, is going to take a lot of time. The effects changes we enact now aren’t going to be seen until our children’s generation and change is slow, especially when gender roles have been engrained in society since the beginning of time. I see changes happening in little ways, such as younger women realizing that gender roles exist and how we should break them, even if in smaller ways. Changes such as a class like this existing, bringing about these issues t even more minds that will spread this knowledge. I believe having leaders that will enact this change is incredibly important, especially in terms of mentoring because without positive women mentors, women won’t be able to picture themselves also in leadership roles.

  2. I also agree that mentoring is huge in creating change in leadership. Though, I also think education is a key factor too because if we are ignorant to the problems women face than nothing will change. Change will be slow, but I think as our generations become the next group of leaders I think we will see more women leaders. Also, women should not restrict themselves to just mentoring women, but they should mentor men as well. I think mentoring and getting men involved will allow them to see the problems we face and help them break down their own gender role barriers. Empathy is a powerful emotion to use to get people to understand one another. As a leader, we should try to be more empathetic and teach our followers no matter the gender the importance of being an empathetic leader. More people we get involved in changing gender role stereotypes I think we will see new generations of equal men and women leaders.

  3. I completely agree with what you have to say about the importance and benefits of mentoring. I think that it is one of the most important ways to change the notions of gender for the better. A good leader not only is effective at effecting positive change or working towards a shared vision. A good leader also paves the way for others to succeed and helps them along the way. While it is terrifying to be the first woman in a field of study or a position, that first woman is critical to enable more leaders for the future.
    I think another way to change the way things are is going to have to be change the culture. As great as mentoring is, it can not change society’s perceptions if women reach out only to like-minded women. We need men to get on board with changing the culture and have a more gender-neutral system of mentoring.


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