Last year, Silicon Valley Business Journal held its annual Mentoring Monday for women in the marketplace on Feb 12, 2018. Women’s Networking Alliance (WNA) showed up in force in support of this event. With eight WNA members on the mentoring side of the table and numerous more as mentees, WNA both offered and received advice, encouragement, and insight as women furthering their influence on the Silicon Valley business landscape.
WNA members/mentors: Karen Mathews Radau, Elaine Orgaine, Carla Bohnett, Melissa Haugh, Jessica Elix, Melissa Sanchez, Eleanor Arabia, Kimberly Tucker
Many of the mentors and mentees were attending for the first time, although Small Business HR Services owner Karen Radau, WNA member and mentor for the fourth year, said, “I had such a great experience being able to make good connections with the mentees who I talked with. I felt like I made a positive contribution to them.” Elaine Orgaine of Silicon Valley Accounting Solutions also commented on the eagerness of the mentees, noting the different stages each was in as far as readiness to go into business for themselves. “[Mentoring Monday is] a fine way to encourage women newly taking the leap to go into business for themselves, and if we can help them avoid any pitfalls along the way, we should,” she said.
Responses were overwhelmingly positive from both sides of the table. Several people noted the change in time per session, going from 5 minutes to 7 minutes as better. “Some mentees needed that extra two minutes to articulate their background in order for me as the mentor to understand the best way to help,” explained Jessica Elix, owner of EMPOWER! Professional Organizing.
Melissa Haugh, Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams, said she enjoyed sharing new ideas or advice and seeing the mentees light up. She was also able to talk with other mentors before and after the mentoring session time and gain some new connections herself.
Mentee Cecily Whiteside was impressed with the caliber of the mentors, and the diversity of industries represented. “I targeted mentors who were in parallel fields to mine instead of just talking to people like me. I got some great insight and ideas that helped me refocus my business in places I felt stuck.”
“I would love to see mentees arrive with a real-world issue or problem to discuss,” said Kimberly Tucker of All Reasons Moving, Inc. She also suggested a few group mentoring options on specific topics like SEO, HR issues etc., in a coaching format.
“This event was an excellent opportunity to network, meet women outside of your industry, share business advice and have an enjoyable time out,” said Eleanor Arabia, Owner of Bay Area Accent Reduction.
Mentoring Monday will be happening again on February 25. We are proud to say that we will have seven WNA members there as mentors this year. We hope that you will join us. Register here and use the code wna2019 to get $15 off of your ticket!
Cecily Whiteside, Owner of Sora Creatiive Content, Chapter 126
Cecily is a Corporate Storyteller, with Sora Creative Content, helping companies tell their brand message in words and images. Learn more at soracreative.com