Earlier this quarter, CareerBuilder launched a new women’s alliance initiative, CareerBuildHER, with the mission to empower women companywide in their career pursuits. In anticipation of an upcoming CareerBuildHER event focused on mentoring, CareerBuilder’s Chief Product Officer, Hope Gurion, who’s spearheading the mentorship program, spoke with us about the importance of mentoring, what she hopes participants will get out of the program and what “having it all” means to her.
What brought on the idea for the mentoring program? Why now?
From the results of our employee surveys, we could see that there was a need for it. Female employees wanted some sort of mentoring opportunity – whether they wanted mentors for themselves, or wanted to be mentors because they felt they had experiences and advice to share with others.
How are you shaping the mentoring program?
Mentoring can take many shapes and sizes, so the format of this event (taking place on June 5th in Chicago and June 6th in Atlanta) will take various shapes. We’re going to have a “speed-mentoring” round – similar to speed-dating – where people can meet one-on-one with mentors. We’re also going to have panel discussions and small group breakout sessions. Topics will range from career pathing, to work-life balance, to helping remote employees feel more connected to the rest of the company. The overall goal is to help the women at the company gain wisdom from people with similar experiences.
Why do you think it’s important to offer a mentoring program?
There’s so much pent-up demand for it. People who are early in their careers especially seem to want it. I feel there’s this general belief people have that “if I have a mentor, all my problems will be solved,” and that’s not necessarily true. Having a mentor is a wonderful thing, but it might not be the total solution to meeting your career goals or getting ahead in your career; however, it’s one solution - it’s another avenue to gain advice, connect with other women and start a conversation.
Did you ever have a mentor?
I don’t know that I’ve ever had a specific mentor, but I’ve always been fairly resourceful. I actively reach out when I need advice or direction. And I’m involved in an organization with a lot of peer to peer mentoring. I believe mentoring can take all shapes or sizes.
What does “having it all” mean to you?
I don’t really think of what I’m doing as “trying to have it all.” I’ve always subscribed to the idea that, in general, you have three things you’re trying to balance at all times: your friends, your family and your career. You can’t always give your energy to everything equally, so I strive to always balance at least two out of the three, and keep rotating it.
What advice would you give other women in the corporate world?
Focus on the problems you can make a meaningful impact on, and make a positive impact. You can’t do it all, so you might as well create a life you enjoy living, and if you don’t enjoy it, change it.