What's the best way to empower other women artists and entrepreneurs? Your first answer was probably money. And yes, you're absolutely correct. Investing dollars into their goods and mission helps tremendously... But more importantly, what comes before money? Creating a business takes much more than just money. It takes experience, know-how, and lots and lots of advice. It takes countless trials and countless errors. It takes support and time to create a solid foundation to build a company.
That's why the best way to empower other women artists and entrepreneurs is through mentorship.
And yet in 2019, more than 60% of women reported that while building their careers or businesses, they never had a mentor. More importantly, when women didn't reach a higher threshold in their career fast enough or young enough, they felt less inclined to seek out support. And, people, especially women, said that if they did not have a mentor or supportive role in their career then they were less likely to become a mentor themself.
It has become a never-ending cycle and we have to break it! Mentorship doesn't have to be complicated or take up a lot of your time. And, it looks different for everyone but the most important thing is that having a mentor is accessible.
Here are some ways you can provide support for emerging artists and entrepreneurs!
- Don't undervalue your insights. Even if you don’t think you’ve ‘made it’ (yet) or think you lack the expertise that might benefit a potential mentee, you still have a lot of knowledge worth sharing.
- Pass along useful resources, even an article! Hell, even tag them in an Instagram post that could be helpful.
- Refer a potential client to their business!
- Put someone’s name forward for a role that will elevate their visibility.
- Connect them to someone who could be a great mentor! Who knows, maybe it's you!
- Donate to or volunteer with organizations that give girls and young women mentors, like Girls Inc!
So, this year in 2020 I hope you stand with me and do your part in breaking the cycle! If you're in need of a mentor, be brave and ask. And, if you're in a position to offer your support, put your skills out there! I promise you’re still ahead of a lot of women who are just starting out.
xoxo, Nina B