January 25, 2012 / Opportunity

Press Release: ‘Girlfriend, Build that Network!’ – A New Vision for Mentoring on National Mentor Month



Women’s org resolves to close wage and promotion gaps by harnessing social media

To view the full press release, please visit here.

NEW YORK, NY –The New Agenda, a national pro-women advocacy group, today announced a new “Mentor Exchange” spearheaded by 20 standout women in their careers. Young women professionals logging onto the new online social media hub (http://www.thementorexchange.org) will benefit from the experience and savvy of “Pioneer Mentors” such as Fox & Friends Co-Host Gretchen Carlson, New Jersey’s first woman Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono, Gurwitch Product’s CEO Claudia Poccia, former Goldman Sachs partner and philanthropic leader Jacki Zehner, internationally recognized author-filmmaker Jean Kilbourne, Washington Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland (Ret.), former White House domestic policy advisor Terrell Halaska, and award-winning journalist and television host Bonnie Erbe. (For a full list of Pioneer Mentors:http://thenewagenda.net/pioneer-mentors/). Watch this introductory video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1PO0b_Zo_JQ

Click to Watch“When I was a young reporter just getting into the news business, I relied heavily on the wisdom and advice of those who were much more experienced,” said Fox & Friends Co-Host Gretchen Carlson. “Because of their generosity, I have always been willing to give back as well.” “Mentorship matters, because behind every great woman is another woman who took the time to care,” said State Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono of New Jersey.  Journalist and television host Bonnie Erbe added, “Mentoring is critical to women. Men do it naturally which accounts for their success in the corporate world.  Women often need to make an extra effort …, but that’s the way to create the next generation of female leaders.”

The Mentor Exchange, supported in part by a Staples Foundation grant, offers a supportive online community for women as they navigate the complexities of career advancement.   Through the Exchange, not only are women professionals matched with prominent mentors for coaching and support on career development goals (including preparing a resume, honing interviewing skills, resolving on-the-job conflicts, negotiating for a raise or promotion, planning a career path, and dressing for success); but The Mentor Exchange also offers forums where women can enhance their network in their existing or prospective career fields.

“We’re resolved to break down the silos of traditional mentoring and advance an inclusive, multifaceted approach which will make mentoring available to a more diverse group of women,” says Amy Siskind, President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda. “We realize that an employee’s worth is closely tied to who they know, so we intend to help women build their network and even the playing field.”

This initiative also comes at a time when women are experience a widening promotion and pay gap.  In 2011 for the first time in history, women surpassed men as recipients of college degrees.  But according to a McKinsey report, 53% of entry level jobs are held by women today but the number declines to 37% for mid-management and even lower at 26% for senior level roles.   In fields like corporate management and politics, men still occupy 84% and 83% of leadership roles, and women’s progress has stalled or is moving backwards.   The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that women still only earn 80 percent of what men do in annual salary and benefits.

“Mentoring is a part of the regenerative circle of work and life. Both people benefit from the exchange of wisdom and energy,” said Washington Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland (Ret.).

“I would never have made partner at Goldman Sachs without amazing mentors, and thus it is an honor and privilege to help others in the same way,” said former Goldman Sachs partner and philanthropic leader Jacki Zehner. “Pay it forward.”

To become a mentor or mentee of The Mentor Exchange, go to http://thementorexchange.org

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