By Batrisyia Jay
American actor, director and producer, Denzel Washington once said, “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well, I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”
This is certainly accurate, as a mentor is often deemed to be the catalyst for elevating the career development of an individual. Relaying real-life lessons and skills to their fellow protégés, mentors tend to open pathways to professional networks, while helping and enabling their understudies to connect to other industry professionals, who in turn can help shape their protégés careers successfully.
Offering emotional support, acting as a role model and actively supporting their protégé’s career, a mentor often acts as a coach who assists an individual in successfully completing challenging assignments and, occasionally, protecting them politically as well.
For a woman, having a mentor who is also a woman can prove to be extremely beneficial, as navigating the work landscape can be complicated at times— particularly in an industry that is dominated by the opposite sex. Thus, having a woman mentor who herself has experienced the trials and tribulations often faced at the workplace, such as overcoming gender stereotypes and negotiating raising a family during peak career development stages, is no doubt a massive advantage, particularly for a young professional.
For Selangorian women, the Empowered Women’s Institute (IWB) acts as our very own ‘mentor’ as it is committed to help the government formulate policies and strategies to empower women towards a more inclusive, sustainable and fair Selangor. Its advisor, Minister of Housing and Local Government, Zuraida Kamaruddin, has stated that IWB aims to enhance women’s socio-economy while speeding up their abilities in leadership and decision-making.
“It is to promote the image of women in this state and make Selangor an example of a woman-friendly state,” she said. To date, the IWB has aided in formulating the Selangor Women’s Policies and Action Plan for 2017 to 2020, which is part of the state government’s roadmap for the development of women in the state.
To commemorate the Intrnational Women’s Day last March, Selangor Menteri Besar, Amirudin Shari, announced that the state government will continue to implement the agenda to raise the status of women through various programmes in the state. These include the Kasih Ibu Smart Selangor (KISS) initiative, the establishment of the Selangor Women’s Empowerment Institute (IWB) and Women’s Empowerment Centres (PWB) in all 56 State constituencies in Selangor.
Amirudin firmly believes that the role of women should not be confined to family affairs only, and that they should also be hailed as decision-makers and policy implementers in politics and economics.
“Hence, this year we have demonstrated commitment through ‘Work From Home’ policies, where KISS programme participants can actively engage in building their own micro-enterprises to generate income, instead of being restricted from economic engagement simply because of the responsibility of having to take care of the children,” he said.
On that note, Selangor has become the only state with 30 per cent participation of women in executive bodies, namely in the State Executive Council.
In an era where women leaders are on the rise, women mentors are beginning to have significant importance, particularly in our women-centric state of Selangor.Thus, with the aim of empowering our women readers through sharing their success stories and to inspire more women to excel, we have listed the top five ways to becoming a role model and mentor to train a fellow woman protégé as the next woman leader in the workplace: