Work may not be the place to find your next mentor

Maria T McGinn
2 min readNov 18, 2020

MentorSHE Tips №2

Highlights from my ongoing Study of Professional Women and Mentorship are emerging!

When asked who was responsible for mentorship, 71% of women surveyed between the ages of 18 and 65, said they were primarily responsible for finding a mentor compared to 16.5% of respondents who noted that HR or their Manager are responsible for helping them find a mentor.

When we drilled down to learn about barriers to mentorship, lack of a network was cited as the biggest barrier among all women surveyed. Notably, younger millennial women, ages 25 to 34, rated workplace barriers as the next greatest impediment to mentorship. Unsupported program and lack of alignment with manager combined made up more than 50% of responses from this group. Millennial women, who so far are making up the bulk of those surveyed, also rated fear of rejection higher than any other age category — at 26%.

What could this all mean?

Work is not necessarily the place where we always find the right mentorship; yet, 44% of all millennial women rated work as the number one place to find a mentor. Yes, I am shaking my head too!

While, as the survey results indicate, most of us rate mentorship as very valuable, and we are responsible for making it happen, it seems we are struggling with where to find mentors. If your place of work is not the key to finding a mentor and mentorship is pivotal to your career development, open yourself up to new ways of finding your next mentor and letting them find you. Associations, alumni networks, social platforms and new solutions like MentorSHE can help.

The survey also unveils some possible insecurities and lack of self-confidence on the part of potential mentees. Comments such as I don’t want to ‘bother’ someone with their time is just one common example . In a later blog post, we will talk about what mentors had to say about giving back, and how you can break down those barriers to mentorship



Maria T McGinn

Act II Part 1 presently “Daring Greatly”. Connecting women through intentional mentorship. Founder