Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Men Have It. Women Need It. 4word Launches Women-Only Mentor Program

4word Launches Overdue Career Boost for Business Women
DALLAS – May 28, 2013 – On 60 Minutes, Sheryl Sandberg credits her rise to it. Goldman Sachs’ “85 Broads” just put it back in the news. Now on June 17, Diane Paddison’s 4word inaugurates the first wave of Christian women doing it in corporate America: mentoring.

And 4word is accepting applications for its inaugural Mentor Match Program through June 7.

“No one rises high without mentors and sponsors,” says Diane Paddison, a chief strategy officer, Harvard MBA and founder of 4wordwomen.org—an organization creating community among professional women focused on work, relationships and faith. “Yet nearly half of Gen Y women have never been mentored, and two-thirds of women my age say they’ve never been asked.”

Through June 7, 4word will match select professional women with an enviable roster of seasoned women executives—the first-ever mentoring program for professional Christian women

“Among women of faith, career-centric relationships are critical,” Paddison said. “Besides family and work, young women execs want to honor God with savvy output and wise decision-making.”

The 4word Mentor Match Program is accepting applications for its inaugural class now through June 7. (See http://bit.ly/4wordmentor to apply as a mentor or mentee.) Mentors generously donate their time to the 12-week, six-session program; eligible mentees donate $175 to the 4word program. Session One matches 10 mentors and 10 mentees, all women, following individual review of applications and assessments.

Is women-in-mentoring a business trend?

Last week, headlines spotlighted former banking exec Sallie Krawcheck’s buying “85 Broads,” originally a networking organization for women at Goldman Sachs, now 30,000 members worldwide.
Sheryl Sandberg spotlights mentoring in her book Lean In and in her many talks on “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders.”
A LinkedIn survey of 1,000 U.S. female professionals shows that half of Gen Y women (between 18 and 29 years old) have never been mentored.
“Men have filled boardrooms for more years. They mentor newcomers more organically—at lunch, over golf, at the club,” Paddison said. “Most women at work also are balancing a robust home life. Their mentoring relationships must be more deliberate, focused . . . and they are more important than ever.”

The rising wave of women the U.S. workforce shows in robust numbers:

For the first time, women in the workplace outnumber men.
In 1971 only 3 percent of all lawyers were women, today, it’s 37 percent.
The percentage of women in college (57 percent) tops men (43 percent).
Almost half of all law and medical degrees go to women, up from about 10 percent in 1970.
SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/cps/demographics.htm

Who benefits from mentoring? The mentees gain know-how and networking. Mentors acquire new awareness and also gain new networking. Yet surprisingly, Paddison said, the biggest beneficiaries are the employers and businesses. Fully a quarter of “high-potential” employees, according to a 2010 Corporate Executive Board survey, are dissatisfied and disengaged at work. Since 2006, that figure had more than doubled. At every career stage, mentoring can re-energize professionals as they see increased potential to achieve and rise.

Diane Paddison is a Harvard MBA, chief strategy officer at real estate firm Cassidy Turley and two times the only female member of the global executive management team at Fortune 500 companies, CBRE and ProLogis. She’s also a wife, mother and Christian. She is the founder of 4word and author of Work, Love, Pray—a practical guide to help women balance faith, family and work. A frequent speaker at national events, Diane speaks to women who feel called to home and career—and to the corporations that need them.

To learn more, visit: 4wordwomen.org

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