Two words: Boss. Ladies. You’ve probably heard of all these powerful women. But did you know that they are all power mentorship icons?! Read on…
Sheryl Sandberg is one of the most iconic power mentorship leaders. Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, Sandberg is a powerful businesswoman, who has used her position of power to bring mentorship to the forefront of conversation.
In 2018, Sandberg collaborated with Elle to bright light to what she calls a “mentorship gap.” At the time the piece was published, women had just a 6% share of CEO positions at Fortune 500 companies. With men having such a large share of the exec-level roles, mixed gender mentorships were crucial to bringing more women into the C-suite.
“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” — Oprah Winfrey.
Do you know who Winfrey’s mentor was? Maya Angelou. Winfrey shares that Angelou’s guidance got her through many pivotal years in her life. Winfrey avidly read Angelou’s books as she was growing up. It was actually through Winfrey’s budding talk show career that she first met Angelou and they immediately clicked.
One of the most powerful pieces of advice Winfrey received from Angelou was: “When you know better, do better.” This encouraged Winfrey to not judge herself for her past but to use her experience to grow. Couldn’t we all use this advice?!
When Lorraine Twohill won “Creative Marketer of the Year” in 2018 at the Cannes Lion, she was just the second woman to receive the award. Though she said it was “lonely” being just one of two females earning this accolade, Twohill acknowledges the many mentors along her journey that have helped get her to where she is today.
As the Chief Marketing Officer at Google, Twohill has a lot on her plate. That’s why she looks to her panel of power mentors – or a “personal board of advisors” – for advice on various aspects of her life. Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive at Alphabet, taught her the power in trusting her team.
Nikesh Arora – Chief Executive at Palo Alto Networks – taught her how to hire well and value her time. Chief Executive at Tribeca Enterprises Jane Rosenthal gave her valuable insight about work-life balance and being a mother while rising in her career. And Steve Stoute, founder and CEO of Translation Enterprises and UnitedMasters, mentored Twohill on ways to be an advocate for racial equality. Twohill perfectly demonstrates the benefit of having mentors for multiple aspects of your life, something I like to teach my students!
Michelle Obama has been an adamant advocate of mentorship. She has had mentors and been a mentor… In fact, one of the first people she mentored while she was at Harvard Law School was none other than her husband and former president, Barack!
Pretty early on into her tenure as FLOTUS, Michelle set up a mentorship program to pair young disadvantaged women with the awesome women in the Obama administration. This program was incredibly empowering for the young girls, lifting them up in a powerful way.
Michelle has made an incredible impact in so many ways through her belief in the power mentorship. Learn more about her thoughts on it by listening to The Michelle Obama Podcast – Working Women: Valerie Jarrett and the Importance of Mentorship. You can find it on Spotify.
Follow me on TikTok at @ellen.ensher and let me know in the comments who YOUR power mentor or power mentors are!