Carol Peter was my first woman mentor. At the fourth stop on my career journey, I was hired by and had the pleasure of working with Carol at a Cleveland advertising agency. I have said many times that you are lucky if you get the opportunity to work with someone whom you respect, who assists in your career growth, and who motivates you to work hard and aspire to greater things. Oh, and equally important, he or she must be great fun to work with! In my career I have been very lucky to work with several people who fit this description, but I will always be grateful to Carol for being my first female boss and role model.
When I worked with Carol, I was still very young, and she taught me a lot about how to write and speak publicly, how to deal with a male-dominated work world (at the time it still was), and she gave me the encouragement and just enough rope to show my stuff. I still can’t believe she trusted me to manage an entire office and client group, and I thank her to this day for the incredible learning opportunity. She is probably laughing right now (did I mention she has a great sense of humor) because she only gave me that assignment because no one else wanted to manage the Youngstown office!
Carol and I both eventually left that company and moved on to new positions, but she has always been there for me if I had a question or needed advice on a career matter. I’m fortunate that we are both starting new careers, and she is still giving me invaluable support and guidance as we both our following our passions in our new business ventures. If you are a dog lover, please check out her company Cold Nose Companions.
I can’t say enough about how much it has meant to me to have a woman career mentor in my life. It made a huge difference in my professional career and taught me so much. I only hope that I have been half as good of a role model and mentor to other women in my life.
Have you reached out to help other women professionally in their careers? Have you had a great woman mentor? If so, please leave a comment, and let me know about your experience. Women mentors ROCK!
Remember my current favorite daily quote: “When women help women they help themselves.”
—Wilhelmina Cole Holladay, cofounder of the National Museum of Women in the Arts