Aviation for Women

MAR-APR 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 AviationforWomen 13 ILLUSTRATION BY JAIME TEMAIRIK I can't remember now where I heard it, but I distinctly remember the message. A speaker at an event I attended stated accomplished women are called to help those women at the beginning of their careers. Specifically, she said, "You can't climb the ladder of success and then pull up the ladder behind you." Maybe because that was such a visual state- ment—I could imagine pulling that ladder up and having no way up for the women behind me—but it's an image that has stayed with me. And I've tried to live up to that message as well. Although the speaker's talk wasn't solely about mentoring, that's what she was describing. A men- tor is a person, who may or may not be a friend, who guides a less experienced person as she builds her ca- reer. You might say a mentor shows the mentee how the real world works—pointing out opportunities, providing planning strategies, and indicating where the mines are in the business minefield. Typically, a mentor is older (and wiser) and has already made and learned from mistakes so she can prevent her mentee from making the same. To me, the unique value of a having a mentor is that you have a reliable counselor who understands the particular work culture in which you operate. Establishing yourself in a military career is vastly different from establishing a career in the corporate world or the commercial airline world. That's how a mentor can help. We've profiled two mentor/mentee pairs here. As you read the words of both mentor and mentee, it's hard not to be just a bit jealous of these terrific rela- tionships. It's clear these women have found a great match in each other while enriching each other's lives. But you can be part of this as well. Women in Avia- tion International is fertile ground for growing men- toring relationships. In 2018, WAI has plans in place for members to benefit from both being a mentor and a mentee. Those attending the International Women in Avi- ation Conference in Reno March 22-24, 2018, will be able to take part in an exercise called Minute Men- toring ® . If you're familiar with speed dating, Min- ute Mentoring operates under that same principal. You'll have a chance to spend a few minutes with mentors and mentees to see if there's a potential match that can lead to a rewarding relationship. But that's not all. We've collected a group of women—we call them Super Mentors—who have worked for 30 years or more in the aviation community. You'll know them by the buttons they are wearing at the conference— and the words of the button say it all: Been there, done that. And they have. These women opened doors and blazed the trails for you to follow, and they want to help you. Feel free to approach anyone wearing a Super Mentor button at the conference. Introduce yourself and get to know these remarkable women. If you're not attending the conference, WAI mem- bers can still find or be a mentor. Simply go to www. WAI.org/members/mentors and sign up to be a men- tor or search for a mentor there. Each mentor's area of expertise is explained—whether it's book publish- ing or prepping for an airline interview. Whether you're at the beginning of your career and looking for a mentor, someone to guide and ad- vise you, or in the middle of or late in your career (or even retired), a mentor/mentee relationship helps the mentee by smoothing the way and is a sounding board for career challenges and predicaments. But the mentor gets something out of the relationship too—maybe even more than the mentee. I've never been in a formal mentor relationship, but have served as a mentor informally for loads of women. When someone I've helped later tells me, "I heard your voice in my head telling me to…" or "I remember you had always said…" it makes me sit up a little straighter and feel pleased that I could help smooth the way or lighten the load for another woman. Join the WAI Mentor Program One of the great- est perks of being a memb er of the WAI community is the mentoring rela- tionships made by connecƟng with other members. Making these important connecƟons is now easier through WAI's website. If you would like to offer yourself up as a potential mentor for another WAI member, log in at www.WAI.org to update your mentor profile today. Once you are logged in, head to the Members Area and select Update Person- al Information. Under your name and member number you'll see the opƟon to select Mentor. Check the Online Mentor box, fill in your details, and you're all set! Within 15 minutes the site will display your name as a ready and willing mentor for the WAI community at www.WAI.org/ members/mentors. For mentees, the Find a Mentor opƟons are only avail- able to WAI members logged in at www.WAI.org and do not display your personal informaƟon openly. Members interested in reaching out to you will be sent to a contact form that will generate an email to you, and you will have the opƟon to reach out from there. Help us grow a robust community of women helping women through these enhanced website opƟons.

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