Women and Mentorship

Career By Nicole Zimmermann December 16, 2019

When it comes to being a leader, mentorship has always been something that is very important to me. A good mentor can help you navigate the workplace, give you valuable advice, focus on the next step for your career development, and help you work towards achieving it.

One of my earliest mentors was my manager at T-Mobile. He was one of few people I knew who understood that female employees and leaders have a different way of managing things. He was very good at understanding and embracing that difference and built his team so that this benefited him, his clients, the team, and the company. With his guidance, I was able to thrive as a leader in a predominantly male environment, by knowing what to seek out, what to avoid, and embracing the value and skills that I bring to my role.

Since that experience, I have made it a point to mentor women, often mentoring two or three at a time, not only in my own Marketing function but across functions. I am passionate in helping them pursue their dreams, realize their strengths, and assisting them to achieve their full potential. I try to target where they can develop and when I see that their potential is bigger than their current role, I make a point to encourage them forward.

I am currently mentoring two women, one of whom is a dealer who works in a very male dominated environment. I have discussed with her the challenges women face within the world of finance and help her navigate through them. While she was enjoying her work, she felt she lacked a structured development plan to ensure she was progressing and found it difficult to see what her next steps would be. She also felt she struggled sometimes with confidence and executive presence, especially when dealing with her male colleagues and challenging clients.

My approach in mentoring her was to create a Development Plan for her short and long-term goals. We set objectives towards achieving her goals, defined what additional skills sets or behaviors she would benefit from and these were the focus of our discussions. When she was promoted to Senior Dealer earlier this year, it was a proud moment for us both.

Being chosen as a mentor for Money20/20 Rise Up was something that made me proud and excited. The experience has been a broadening one for me, not only in terms of my network, but by meeting, talking and interacting with all the people at these types of events, it helps me expand my perspectives and awareness on many issues affecting women in the industry.

I make it a point to expand my mentorship circle and engagement for more diversity & inclusion beyond Western Union to a new global network. I hope that the knowledge, experience and skills that I bring will enable women to prosper, grow and become the future leaders they were meant to be.