Improving Communication between Generations, Genders and Business Roles
Last Thursday (March 2017) we brought 21 mentees, 86% of them women, together with five (4 were men) mentors with 100+ years of experience from the corporate and startup tech world. According to the participants the event was a success with “mentors bringing a wealth of knowledge” to lively group discussions covering topics of business, career, and confidence in the workplace.
Our mentees from the US, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, the Philippines, Portugal, Sweden, Taiwan, and Iran were coached by mentors from Bulgaria, France, Sweden, and the US.
We created a safe environment to get everyone comfortable and talking. We described the importance of respecting each other’s differences, the skill of listening, and that all questions were welcome. We created a space for the growth that comes from stepping out of our traditional patterns and comfort zones.
Why did I initiate this?
I see a great need for mentoring among the next generation that is new to or just entering the workforce. I also think that mentors, men and women, of my generation can learn how to manage the next by actually talking to them. The idea that millennials are so different might be correct in some ways, but they are much like us and they are seekers (like we were) who are sometimes blinded by all the options available to them. We can help them prioritize and to put things into perspective when they feel overwhelmed.
I think we have to build new ways to bridge the communication gaps and to offer knowledge transfer as we expect that the next generation will move around a lot throughout their careers. It is our responsibility to enable and lift co-workers, subordinates, and the class of 2017. Consider the positive results on the economy, businesses, and the community as you take a step towards mentoring someone.
Special thanks to Salma Riazi for helping me organize this event.
Thank you for your comments
“I love what you do, it is so important. I just wish somebody did this 20 years ago. “
“I just wanted to reach out to express how honored I am to have met you and thank you again for organizing a much needed safe environment for us to connect with mentors.”
“The mentors brought it a wealth of knowledge and meaningful advice as questions were being answered. I felt that the mentors took careful time to listen to anecdotes of mentees and they did not rush into answering them.”
“I was blown away by the caliber of professionals we had access to at the event.”
“I strongly appreciate your efforts towards supporting women in our industry.”