19% of Female Professionals Have Never Had a Mentor

Posted October 26, 2011 by

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.”

Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Connection Director

Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Connection Director

“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 LinkedIn’s Connection Director, Nicole 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.”

“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.” In addition, many schools, employers, and professional associations also offer formal and informal mentorship programs.

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:

  • Professional guidance
  • Recommendations
  • Career advancement
  • Keeping current with industry news and trends

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

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