Creating A Mentoring Community For Women

Shevaun Voisin spoke so eloquently of the need to grasp your dreams and make them reality in her keynote talk, “Dream It, Do It: You Only Have Today” at the “Imagine…then do it” seminar sponsored by Act Three that I attended last week.  I have been thinking a lot about this over the last several days, and if you know me, then you know that I am a deep, analytical thinker.

Imagine... then do it Seminar by Act Three

I am at a place where by virtue of my age, experiences, collected wisdom and station in life, I am able to view the world through a different set of lenses.   I have experienced a career working for a global consumer giant; participated in national product launches for revolutionary new products; have held the hand of a woman in crisis as I listened to the story that birthed her pain through my work with a local non-profit.  I have taught classes for elementary aged kids and presented seminars and workshops for high school students and local universities. I have raised two incredible children who are using their gifts and leadership to make a difference on the world as teens. Lastly, I have stepped into the moccasins of the entrepreneur and created a company in a field that is rapidly evolving and taking the planet by storm, all while never having grown up in the world of texting and MySpace like today’s Gen Ys.

P&G Gold Award for Outstanding Customer Business Development
P&G Gold Award for Outstanding Customer Business Development

Illustrating the back story returns me to the opening reference to deep thought.  I have come to the realization that the time is now for me to affect change in a demographic that is very important to me: women.  As a new sales representative for Procter & Gamble in the mid-eighties, I recall my Health & Personal Care Sales District Manger telling me that he had recently attended management training on how to deal with women who cry or exert other emotions on the job.  This had not been dealt with in the past with a male-dominated work-force; in fact, the DMs needed a multi-page manual! Despite being closer to 1990 then 1960, there were still a disproportionate number of men vs. women walking the aisles of the Krogers, Rite Aids, Safeways and K-Marts of the world repping the Procter brands despite increased recruitment of women on college campuses.

P&G Brands
P&G Brands

I became very active in the P&G Women In Sales Board and worked with P&G’s market research department to create a survey to determine why the retention rate of women in the mid-west sales division was so low.  The results were astounding and led to the creation of mentor programs with experienced female managers connecting with newer sales reps.  A lot of programming was implemented and with time, P&G began to turn the tide.  I was blessed to be mentored by some fabulous women and always felt that when I got to that ‘right’ intersection of age and experience, then it would be my turn to reach back and help pull up.

I have found over the years that helping people achieve their goals really makes me feel fulfilled. I chose to create a company in the service industry (consulting) because I absolutely love helping businesses and individuals solve their needs and reach their objectives and goals. I have met many amazing business women in Cincinnati and am blessed to have the privilege of their friendship and shared wisdom.

 

Michelle Beckham working with women
Michelle Beckham working with women

My dream is to create a local mentoring program for women that truly makes a difference in their professional and personal lives. I am in the process of researching best practices; talking to women around the country who are involved in a program today and gathering names of local interested women.  I believe in the power of networking, the strength of collaboration and the nurturing nature of women to reach out and make a difference.

The dream has been imagined and spoken aloud. Today has arrived. There may not be a tomorrow. Won’t you join me?

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Interested in being a part of the Mentor Program on either side of the equation (mentor/mentee)? Contact me at Michelle@CreatingConnectionsConsulting.com

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