Wells Fargo’s Executive Development Strategy Lead Simone Gooden spoke about her experience as an African-American woman being both a mentor and a mentee.
Women typically have far less access to mentorships than their male counterparts. According to a 2011 LinkedIn survey of nearly 1,000 women in the US, 82 percent said that having a mentor is important to advancement in their career but one in five women has never had access to a mentor. Over half of the survey respondents said that they were never able to find someone “appropriate.”
This difficulty is even more pronounced for women of color in the workplace. Black and Latina women make significantly less than their white female counterparts and they see less representation of themselves in leadership where they could potentially find mentors.
According to statistics from the American Center for Progress, women of color occupy only 11.9 percent of managerial positions and 3.2 percent of board seats in Fortune 500 companies, despite comprising 36.3 percent of the US population.