Missing mentorship: Gen Z are hungry for help, but many can’t find it

Missing mentorship: Gen Z are hungry for help, but many can’t find it

Despite current stereotypes surrounding them, Gen Z are revolutionising work culture, innovating workspaces and workflow as they go.

Their next feat is mentorship.

According to an Adobe study, 83% of the generation believes that mentorship is crucial for their professional development. But, only 52% reported success in securing one.

The greatest challenge to forging a productive relationship is the ever-evolving workplace. In the age of Zoom and remote work, networking and work relationships are taking a hit, making it harder than ever for younger employees to build meaningful workforce connections.

Alongside this comes lack of representation and diversity in leadership. The scarcity of female role models is one thing, considering the entire DE&I spectrum is another.

Combine this with navigating societal expectations and knowing how to even go about approaching a mentor, and it’s no wonder the landscape for many women can be dauting, leaving them feeling disheartened and excluded.

That’s where Ok Mentor comes in.

Ok Mentor is a not-for-profit offering free training and mentorship for women looking to break into creative industries from some of the world’s top female creative leaders.

Its mission is simple—to bring quality mentorship to women earlier, and more easily through its bespoke matching platform, which boasts an average “fit” rate of 95.7%.

The platform, Intros AI, has allowed Ok Mentor to build its own algorithm to match mentees and mentors, incorporating the harder factors in terms of professional areas the mentee would like to develop, as well as softer elements like personal passion points, all sealed with industry compatibility.

“Industry relevance and knowledge are, of course, massively important factors, but at the crux, it all comes down to connecting on a personal passion,” says Inga Driksne, head of product at Ok Mentor.

“Gen Zers aren’t just looking for cheerleaders—they’re looking for mentors who are truly interested in growing their success, which goes beyond their career goals. Creating a relationship that expands beyond the workday is key to supporting the mentee in their career strides and ensuring that they feel understood and listened to.”

Ok Mentor’s matching platform facilitates the foundational building blocks of such relationships, not only tackling the pain point of finding and connecting with a mentor but also the shared difficulty in finding the right time to meet, with its built-in session planning tool.

The not-for-profit believes that mentors can make a genuine impact quickly, which is why its platform is designed to set up 3 x 1-hour sessions with mentees. This allows mentees to grow their networks faster, gain a different perspective on career ambitions, and work with mentors to overcome current workplace challenges or goals.

Once the sessions have been set up, Ok Mentor hands the reigns over to the matches to work out what this looks like in practice – be it virtual, in person, more than three times, or less – the programme is flexible to suit everyone’s needs.

And although the team might take more of a back seat whilst the session takes place, they still believe that providing pastoral support throughout the end-to-end journey has its place, “mentoring is all about relationships, created by and for humans. That’s why we’re present throughout the process—ensuring that the mentees feel equipped with the tools to get the most out of their sessions and mentors feel supported in the guidance they’re giving” said Katie Hunter, Ok Mentor’s newly appointed CEO.

Ok Mentor’s 1:1 mentoring programme runs twice a year, with registrations open two months ahead of time.

Anyone can sign-up to be a mentee, but if you have 3+ years professional experience, you can also sign up to be a mentor.

Ok Mentor’s next cohort launches on International Women’s Day (March 8th) – find out more about the platform and how you can get involved here.

Beyond the mentoring programme, Ok Mentor runs regular IRL events for both mentors and mentees. Most recently, they launched a new quarterly “Speed Mentoring” format, designed for mentees to receive quickfire advice from senior women spanning multiple creative industries. 

Keep up-to-date with Ok Mentor’s upcoming events here.

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