Entrepreneurs Say Mentorship the Key to Women's Advancement in Business and Tech
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

It’s been known that having a career mentor or two—as well as sponsors who can vouch for you within  your company—are vital to a professional’s advancement. But, when it comes to women, who face inequities in male-dominated such as technology and business, mentorship is not only key— it’s a necessity.

A group of successful women entrepreneurs co-signed this idea at a roundtable hosted by the global nonprofit Endeavor at its Beirut offices Wednesday. The event was part of an initiative aimed at supporting women in the online business world.

“Business is a hard world, there’s a lot of competition. You have to deal with being a woman, and take all the advantages of being a woman, but it’s not enough,” said Delphine Edde, partner and publishing director at Diwanee and Endeavor entrepreneur. Edde created her digital media company five years ago, and has built one of the largest female audiences across the Middle East.

She also added that mentoring can help boost soft skills needed for advancement especially among men, such as professionalism.

But how do you find and keep a relationship with an industry mentor, especially if you’re well pass the years of internships, high school growing pains and college roommates?

1. Join industry trade organizations, social groups or professional women’s groups such as Black MBA Women

2. Attend Meetups, panels and other events that draw successful women in business and technology.

3. Utilize mentorship, executive development and coaching resources within your company or from a nonprofit organizations such as Women Mentoring Women, or Step Up Women’s Network. Atlanta Women’s Network.

4. Forge relationships via social media with the who’s who in your industry or a related industry.

5. Connect with a businesswoman who’s right in your backyard, whether at your job or in your community.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.

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