Mentorship and its role in career advancement

Mentorship and its role in career advancement
Mentorship and its role in career advancement

posted 29 Jan 24

The demand for mentoring and the desire to be a mentor is on the rise, and with 76% of businesses agreeing that mentoring is important for their business growth, it’s clear that the benefits are wide scale. For women in the workplace, mentorship can play a crucial role in career advancement and overcoming the ‘glass ceiling’ and pay and value gap.   

With evidence highlighting the advantages of mentoring, collectively, we must do more to encourage and facilitate these mutually beneficial connections.   

Benefits for the mentee  

Facilitating the transfer of skills and knowledge necessary for career advancement is a key benefit of mentoring. However, forging a strong relationship with a mentor can bring many other benefits, including access to new opportunities through professional introductions. As a woman, working with a female mentor specifically will provide insight and guidance to help you navigate similar challenges, make informed decisions, and set achievable career goals.   

It’s also important to consider your learning style to identify a partnership that will allow you to thrive. Consider one-to-one, group, or virtual settings, plus what you want to gain from the mentorship that will enable you to advance in your career. For example:   

  • Guidance and support: Mentors can help navigate company politics, offer career insights, and provide encouragement during challenging times.  
  • Skill development: Develop essential skills such as leadership, communication, negotiation, and strategic thinking, utilising assignments, feedback, and professional development resources.  
  • Increased confidence: Having a mentor who believes in your abilities and champions your success can help you recognise your strengths, overcome self-doubt, and have the confidence to take on new challenges.  
  • Expanded network: A well-connected mentor can introduce you to valuable contacts, resources, and opportunities, potentially opening doors to new career prospects and partnerships. They can also advocate for you and highlight your strengths to others.  
  • Goal setting: Clarify your career plans, identify growth opportunities, and create actionable plans alongside a mentor who can offer insight into different career paths, industry trends, and potential challenges.  
  • Navigate challenges: Mentors can offer perspective, share coping mechanisms, and provide ongoing support during setbacks and challenges, allowing you to remain resilient and reach your potential.   

Benefits for the mentor  

Making a positive impact on the lives and careers of the next generation of female leaders and professionals can be deeply rewarding. Particularly if you can help others avoid or overcome obstacles you have experienced during your career.  

While the benefits for the mentee are obvious, mentoring also provides a great advantage to the mentor, however experienced or skilled you are in your field. Benefits to the mentor include:   

  • Personal fulfilment: We perform better at work when we feel purpose and fulfilment. Allowing yourself time away from your day job to share knowledge, experiences, and wisdom can even help you bring your whole self to other areas of your professional life.  
  • Professional growth: Mentoring provides opportunities to enhance leadership, communication, and coaching skills and develop your ability to inspire, motivate, and empower others. It also promotes personal development through self-reflection, growth, and learning.  
  • Expanded network: While you’re likely to amplify your mentee's network, you can also expect to widen yours. Connecting with individuals from diverse backgrounds, industries, and career stages can benefit your development and enhance your perspective.  
  • Reciprocal learning: Mentoring is a two-way street - mentors often find that they learn as much as their mentees learn from them. Learning more about yourself than ever, you’ll also gain new perspectives, skills, and knowledge, leading to new ideas, approaches, and solutions in your work.    

We asked Julie Calisir, Managing Director at Search Call & Contact Centre and Business Support how she feels providing mentorship has helped her:

Julie Calisir, Managing Director at Search Call & Contact Centre and Business Support

Mentoring others not only enriches their journey but also fuels my own growth. It isn't just about imparting knowledge, it’s a reciprocal exchange where both mentor and mentee learn, inspire, and evolve. Not only have I learnt so much about myself when mentoring, but I’ve also gained fresh perspectives which has allowed me to challenge existing approaches and has proven vital in the ever-changing industry we work in.

Julie Calisir, Managing Director at Search Call & Contact Centre and Business Support

Routes to mentorship  

If you are looking for a mentor or want to share your knowledge, start by building professional relationships internally or externally. You can do this by attending regular industry meet-ups with a cohort or initiating a meaningful discussion with a professional you admire.  

Mentorship connections can sometimes arise organically through informal networking opportunities, whilst others may choose to follow a more formal mentoring route, such as:  

  • Online platforms such as LinkedIn,, and  
  • Alumni networks  
  • Professional coach or consultant services  
  • Company/employer initiatives  
  • Mentoring programmes, for example the government’s Help to Grow: Management Course  

At Search, our fair and gender-equitable recruitment practices support women to advance their careers every day. If you’re looking for a recruitment partner with inclusive hiring at their heart, we’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch today to discuss how we can support your career or business aspirations.