Women are superheroes without capes. They have everything they need inside. Then why is it that young girls need mentoring? This is because, with encouragement and positive role models, there is no limit to what they can achieve. We spoke to some mentors and mentees to know how mentorship has changed their lives and why they think it is important for young girls to have mentors. Here is what they have to say:
A mentor inculcates self belief
“Young girls need mentors because they need someone who believes in them. Someone who’ll look them in the eye, hold their hands and tell them that the sky is their limit and that they have as many options as the boys around them. At the time when these young minds are dreaming a thousand dreams, just one person is enough for them to start believing in themselves,” says Shaziya Shaikh, Fellow at The Gender Lab.
A mentor prevents them from making avoidable mistakes
“As girls, we often have access to fewer opportunities. Inexperience can result in low self-confidence in facing challenges, whether these challenges are within us or external. Young girls can learn from their mentor’s experiences and make more informed choices. Mentorship gives young girls a role model, a confidante, a sounding board, someone they can look up to and trust that they have their back. As a mentee, I am grateful for having mentors who give me honest feedback and constructive criticism. As a mentor, I always tell people they have great potential and can always do better,” says Renita Siqueira, Communications Officer, Safecity.
As a mentee, I am grateful for having mentors who give me honest feedback and constructive criticism.
They need ideas to grow
“Young girls need a mentor so that they don’t inculcate and normalise injustice. Guidance can develop an attitude in the young girls to question the existing norms, mobilize their energies, resources and strengths to further enhance their self-confidence and emerge as a powerful woman in future,” says Bhavya Katyal, an Assistant Professor in Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Delhi.
Mentoring makes them more skilled
Vandita Morarka, Founder & CEO – One Future Collective says, “I think young girls definitely need a mentor because especially as we grow up, we don’t see much of ourselves represented in different role models. We don’t see much of CEO, doctors or engineers for females. So mentors help us to see and realise that it is a possibility for us as well. They help us overcome specific hurdles that every young person face at the start of their career. A mentor helps young girls make a transition from a student to a working professional and help them get ahead in their careers. They also give directions to their thoughts and lives. Young girls, especially need a mentor because generally they are left far behind when it comes to job opportunities and professional growth.”
We don’t see much of CEO, doctors or engineers for females. So mentors help us to see and realise that it is a possibility for us as well.
A journey of growth
Jessica Xalxo, a Mentee at the Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017 says, “A mentor is a guide to a world or field uncharted, and on every such journey, it helps immensely to walk with someone who isn’t seeing the space with new eyes. Their insight and expertise mixed with a mentee’s curiosity and will to learn can be powerful, especially when the relationship is collaborative. Having a mentor means that one can not only bounce ideas off their mentor but that the mentor can also help them to streamline these ideas and work towards a singular goal or multiple visions. A good mentor will always help you to explore before you fixate, which is extremely important when you’re young and still aren’t sure about what you want to do, and they won’t see your failures as the end of the world. I do think that having a mentor is an immense privilege, and can only hope that every girl has access to this relationship because it is powerful and beautiful to be able to share this journey of growth with someone you look up to.”
So it is rightly said that if the foundation of the building is strong, then it will stay intact forever. A mentor in a young girl’s life plays the same role.
Sonakshi Goel is an intern at SheThePeople.TV