Notes on Mentors and Mothers

So someone had to point this out to me before I noticed but, perhaps my mother aside, every mentor I’ve ever had has been male. I wish I could say it didn’t matter, but it does. I am obsessed with powerful women, in any field and regularly (and unabashedly) stalk the likes of Mellody Hobson via varying social media outlets and Google alerts that now have their own dedicated inbox. However, when it comes to finding female mentors, I struggle. Not because there aren’t many of them and not because they aren’t willing (you won’t find me touting the misguided belief that all women have an ultra-competitive streak that leads them to undercut other women even if they don’t mean to). It’s more so because with one mother already, I have a stubborn aversion to others.

But I don’t want to be mothered (just ask my own mother). When I have a career related problem, I don’t want to be told a story about the time when you did x/spoke at x/ won an x. I want to be asked questions, I want to be challenged, I want to be told I’m wrong but prodded to defend myself as to why I think I’m right.

Women are great at sharing through experiences, but with many of us being lied to that any success we achieve must be a rarity, we also tend to get a little bit more caught up in them. I want someone who is invested in helping me further develop my own definition of success, rather than following a path that they think they’ve already charted for me. Or worse – getting offended if I don’t want to. Maybe I’m looking at this all wrong; my hope is that I just haven’t met her yet. All this to say, if you have, I’d love an intro.