Mentoring Meeting Recap

It has been a wonderful year for de la Femme. We want to thank our speakers who generously shared their time, networks and insights with us.

Our meeting in July was a recap of our six-month inaugural mentoring program that started last December. We had an informal discussion between the mentors and mentees, talking about their experiences and what they’ve learned from their team members.   We also had new attendees who came to learn more about our mentoring program.Attendees Mentoring

Everyone felt they had gotten a lot from the mentor program. One mentee talked about how her mentor has helped her to transition her career. Another mentee said that she learned how to better navigate the politics within her company.   A mentor said that it was a wonderful experience for her to help guide the mentees. Some of the mentors commented that they would have benefited if they had mentors earlier in their own careers.

How to find a mentor?

There was a lot of discussion on how to find mentors and strategies to ask someone to be your mentor. Instead of asking for a formal mentorship right off the bat, the group suggested to let it happen naturally by interacting informally first.Robin and Melissa

When is the right time to start a family?

A question was raised on when is the right time to start a family without penalizing one’s career. I was surprised at the degree to which young women today still have to worry about this type of issue. Unfortunately, we still see this happen quite frequently that women who choose to stay at home and take care of their families for a significant amount of time, end up coming back to much more limited career options. I believe that this varies in different industries; some are definitely more accommodating than others. In some EU countries, new mothers get a year off and the employer retains their positions during their leave. It remains to be seen how the recent Netflix publicity over their new one year of paid maternity and paternity leave and similar policies will affect the career trajectory of women.

Thank you for the group’s feedback in helping us to improve on our next mentoring program.

Looking to the Future

Some people ask me why we need yet another woman’s group when there are so many already. My answer is that there are so many different types of women, in different stages of their career, with different interests. We need everyone’s help to bridge the gender gap, and to provide more support and opportunities for networking. I am happy to report that our members have found jobs and made friends and gotten support through de la Femme.

I am looking forward to our salary negotiation meeting in September, as well as Creating and Branding your LinkedIn profile, and Women and STEM/STEAM, and many others this fall and winter.   Please spread the word about de la Femme and let us know if there are other topics that are of interest to you.