By Allison Pries nj.com
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Mentoring Monday takes place Monday February 24th, 2020. On that day, there will be plenty of exciting events going on across the country to bring together women who can professionally support and encourage one another.
Attention, women in New Jersey -- we need mentors. And now, we have a way to get them.
Research shows the cultivation of relationships between women is directly tied to career development. Peer mentoring has been shown to be a vital component of encouraging and supporting women in their careers.
We’re already a force to be reckoned with. We make up nearly half of the workforce, and 42% of working mothers are the breadwinners in their families. But, there’s one problem. Research shows women are less likely to get the help they need to move up the career ladder.
A survey found that 63% of women interviewed said they’ve never had a mentor. And 20% said they had never been asked to be a mentor.
NJ Advance Media’s new mentoring event -- open to professional women across New Jersey -- is designed to change that.
BizWomen Mentoring Monday will be presented by NJ Advance Media on Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Middlesex County College in Edison. The event will bring together female business leaders from throughout the state and those seeking mentoring.
It will be held on the same day that 8,600 women and 1,700 mentors are expected to gather around the country to educate, motivate and coach each other.
“This is a great platform to guide and encourage women in business,” said Kim Alvarez, vice president of advertising for NJ Advance Media, “whether they are young in their career, a seasoned professional looking to reset or an entrepreneur who needs a sounding board.”
The annual national event was started in 2014. This is the first time it’s being held in New Jersey.
“Our goal for New Jersey in 2020 is to start a movement of mentorship,” Alvarez said. “We are hoping to not only bring these women together for one day but to start the conversation that may allow for lasting relationships and camaraderie going forward.”
Registration for the N.J. event is open now. It costs $30 from now until Jan. 26, when the price will rise to $35.
The keynote speaker will be Gianna Rojas, Founder of Adaptive Golfers Organization and a world-ranked one-handed golfer.
Rojas’ inspiring story started when she was born without fingers on her left hand. She didn’t let that stop her, and in fact, embraced it -- she’s now known worldwide as the “one-handed lady golfer.” The Oak Ridge native’s career in and advocacy of Adaptive Golf led her to being named one of the top 22 women “disruptors” in the golf industry by the LGPA.
Her moving talk will just be the start of Mentoring Monday. More than 40 mentors have already committed to participate from industries including banking, healthcare, education, communications, marketing and human resources, among others.
Among those mentors is Bhavna Tailor, vice president of operations at Eastwick College.
“I chose to participate in the Mentor Monday event because I feel that it’s important for there to be a wide range of voices and experiences in the discussion on what it means to be a proud professional woman in 2020, and I believe that my story could help inspire someone else with similar circumstances to the ones I faced when I first entered the workforce,” she says.
Tailor says everyone needs a mentor in their life to help provide them with a point of reference and source of inspiration when the path may not be clear.
“I think this is especially true for women, because at times the social structures and support systems that exist within the modern workplace still harken back to an old school atmosphere in which women can be overlooked or left behind,” she says. “So it’s all the more vital for women to be mentors - to help other women navigate the complexities of the workplace environment, avoid the pitfalls, and achieve their best.”
Valerie Simon, chief marketing officer at Atlantic Health System, says mentors played an important role in her career advancement, and she feels it’s important for her to “pay it forward” by serving as a mentor in this program to inspire the next generation of leaders.
“I applaud NJ Advance Media for hosting Mentoring Monday,” Simon says. "It is wonderful to have the opportunity to spend time with women from a wide array of professional and personal backgrounds, who share a common desire to improve their skills and advance their careers.
Another of the mentors, Elisse E. Glennon, vice president and chief administrative officer at NJ Sharing Network, is motivated by that same desire.
“I consider mentoring both a responsibility and a privilege, as a leader to guide women in their professional development,” Glennon says. “I take great pride in helping to advance women at all levels and particularly those who have achieved leadership positions of their own."
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