This month we are going to talk about the importance of a having a mentor in our career!
Many accomplished individuals credit their mentors for their successes. There are many examples, some of which include Oprah Winfrey- Maya Angelou and Bill Gates- Warren Buffett. A mentor can teach the mentee the responsibilities of the job, provide guidance on navigating industry’s policies & practices, and create networking opportunities for the young individual.
Many women in STEM fields can benefit from mentorship to help them achieve a long and successful career. It is often challenging to establish a relationship with a mentor, whether formal or informal, often due to lack of female leaders or perceived inaccessibility of mentors. To bridge the gap, we need more women as mentors, and also to foster a culture of mentorship.
For our coffee club discussion, we’ll be focusing on the value of having a mentor and ways we can achieve effective mentorship relationships. Please check out the links below and send us some of your comments!
Questions to think about this month:
Check out the links below for some valuable and handy resources:
This month, we are going to talk about the role of male allies in the battle for truly gender-equal workplaces.
Gender inequality is not only a women’s issue, but we don't hear a lot from men. If men are blind to the gender gap experienced by women, we can hardly expect them to care about it, or to be partners in helping to close it. However – we are never going to achieve an equal workplace if we don’t have those male allies leaning in to meet us partway.
We as women talk about these issues frequently, though often by doing this we leave men out of the conversation. Sometimes, males who do care and have the best intentions still don’t know what to say, or are terrified of being reprimanded for saying the wrong thing – and that is where we can step in.
During our March Coffee Club, we will talk about starting the conversation with our male colleagues, and making sure our voice is heard equally.
Questions to think about:
Check out these articles for some more thinking points!
Men As Allies: Engaging Men to Advance Women in the Workplace
Want to be an ally to women at work?
As a woman, we are often told that we need to negotiate more. Negotiation is important in closing the gender equity gap, and frankly, we often miss opportunities to do it. Men negotiate four times as much as women, 20 percent of women say that they never negotiate at all, and when we do manage to negotiate, on average, women get 30% less. This is a contributing factor to the fact that women are still earning 74 cents on the dollar to men.
Like it or not, we have a responsibility to negotiate for ourselves in order to advance our place in society. That said, negotiating can be much easier said than done. There are inherent benefits to every negotiation, but there can also be inherent risks. As women in engineering in particular, we are used to calculating risk, and the potential social costs and unclarity of negotiation can act as a major deterrent. So what are we to do about this?
In our coffee club, we’re going to focus on three main points: how to identify opportunities where you can negotiate in work and in life, how to overcome obstacles to negotiations, and how to ask for things in the right way (ie. – the best way that works for you). Here are some questions to think about before this Saturday’s coffee session:
Here are some articles to get thinking, read away and let's discuss.
We hope you had a great holiday season and are ready to jump right back into our monthly coffee club discussions!
This month, in the spirit of new years, new beginnings and new resolutions, we want to focus on career planning, the importance of setting goals and the importance of the three year plan.
First, let's get inspired by a great TED talk! Then take a look at the following articles, send us some of your own in the comments section and get ready for deep dive discussions into career planning.
Why should I plan my career?
How do I put together an effective plan?
But... How far ahead should I plan?
Don't feel like reading? Not a problem; here are some great podcasts to get into:
This month at Coffee Club we will be discussing Career Transitions and will try to cover the following questions that one might consider when deciding whether or not to move on.
How do we know it is time to leave a company?
What is it that makes us want to stay in a company?
Are women more likely to be loyal to a company than their male counterparts?
What should you ask yourself before deciding to leave a company?
How to leave gracefully and not burn bridges?
Is employee loyalty overrated?
Do we need to leave to move up?
Below are some articles to inform the conversation. We welcome all SWE Toronto members to get involved in the conversation early and post some of your own articles and opinions below! What have your experiences been with career transitions? What advice would you give fellow SWEsters? What questions do you have on the topic?