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Women and Mentoring: LinkedIn Study

by Nicole Williams for LinkedIn

It may not surprise you, but LinkedIn’s latest study found (in a survey of nearly 1,000 female professionals in the U.S.) that 82 percent of women agree that having a mentor is important. But what will knock your socks off is that considering the competitive employment landscape, and the universal belief that mentorship is a critical component to career success, 19 percent (that’s nearly one out of every five women) have NEVER had a mentor.

The survey results were unveiled during the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, the largest women’s conference in the state. LinkedIn is the conference’s exclusive connection sponsor and LinkedIn’s Connection Director, Nicole Williams, spoke at the event.

See the study and infographic
Read the press release
Read the article in Forbes: LinkedIn Report: Women without a Mentor

“Tooting your own horn is just one of the many ways you can increase the likelihood that you’ll shatter the glass ceiling and snag keys to that corner office,” said Williams. “If you’re uncomfortable speaking up about your accomplishments, then often times, your best bet is to seek out a sponsor or a mentor in your office who can vouch for you.”

LinkedIn surveyed nearly 1,000 female professionals in the U.S. and found that 19 percent of respondents had never had a mentor. LinkedIn asked the women who hadn’t had a mentor why that was the case. Fifty-two percent of the women noted they hadn’t had a mentor because they had, “never encountered someone appropriate.” As part of the survey, LinkedIn also asked the women who had never been a mentor why they weren’t mentoring another professional, and sixty-seven percent of those respondents said they have never been mentors because, “no one ever asked.”

“Waiting in the wings for a mentor to discover you or hoping that your company will implement a mentoring program aren’t your only options,” said Williams. “Take control of your professional life and use LinkedIn to search for professionals by title and find potential mentors in your zip code.”

An interesting sign of encouragement from the research is that more women taking the time to mentor other women:

* More than half, 51 percent, of the Gen Y women (females between 18-29 years old) LinkedIn surveyed noted that they are being or have been mentored by women.

* Forty-three percent of Gen X females (women between 30-44 years old) noted that they are being or have been mentored by women.

* Only 34 percent of Boomers (females between 45-66 years old) noted that they are being or have been mentored by women.

LinkedIn’s survey results also revealed the most important reasons why women depend on their professional network:

1. Professional guidance

2. Recommendations

3. Career advancement

4. Keeping current with industry news and trends

Job-hunting actually came in last place on the list at number six.

Download an infographic on LinkedIn’s women and mentoring research and get tips on finding a mentor on the LinkedIn Blog: