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One in five professional women haven't had a mentor, study says

Wednesday, October 26, 2011  
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Nineteen percent of professional women have never had a mentor, most often because they "have never encountered someone appropriate,” according to a recent survey by LinkedIn.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. professional women that 67 percent of the women who had never been a mentored did not mentor others because "they had never been asked.”

"Tooting your own horn is just one of the many ways you can increase the likelihood that you’ll shatter the glass ceiling and snag keys to that corner office,” said LinkedIn’s Connection Director Nicole Williams. "If you’re uncomfortable speaking up about your accomplishments, then often times, your best bet is to seek out a sponsor or a mentor in your office who can vouch for you.”

Younger professionals are more involved in mentoring, it appears. More than half, 51 percent, of Gen Y women (between 18 and 29 years old) reported they are being or have been mentored by women. Forty-three percent of Gen X females (30 to 44 years old) are being or have been mentored by women. Only 34 percent of Boomers (45 to 66 years old) said they are being or have been mentored by women.

The survey results also revealed why women rely on their professional networks: professional guidance, recommendations, career advancement and keeping current with industry news and trends. Job-hunting came in last place on the list of six reasons women use the networking service.

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