Growing a mentoring network 

In this final blog in our mentoring women in technology series, we’ll offer more advice for growing your mentoring network—including industry organizations and programs dedicated to connecting, inspiring, and supporting women and other underrepresented groups in tech.

Mentorship isn’t about zeroing in on a single advisor for the entire scope and duration of your career. You can benefit from many different types of support over time, and often at the same time. Working with multiple, diverse mentors will expand the range of perspective and guidance available to you. That’s one reason the Tech Women @ Intuit (TWI) mentorship program is designed around six-month terms, with mentees and mentors encouraged to rotate to new pairs regularly. “It’s not that you should have one mentor, you should have many,” says Crystal Robinson-Pipersburgh, group manager for data engineering at Intuit. “There is no one person that is great at everything.” 

Over time, your growing network of current and past mentors can yield compounding benefits. “Mentorship is a critical part of building your personal board of directors, a group of trusted people that can help you on your path of self discovery,” says Alex Balazs, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Intuit. 

In previous blogs, we talked about why mentorship matters, how to make it productive, and how to get started. Now, we’ll look at how to build out your mentoring network—the people you can turn to anytime a new career challenge or opportunity arises.

Going broad as well as deep

Kimbra Brookstein, global leader, Tech Women @ Intuit and staff program leader, DEI in Tech, recommends seeking mentors from a variety of backgrounds to broaden the value of your network: “Make sure you have folks representing different industries, genders, functions, and career levels. When you think about building out what you want to learn, always try to be conscious of making sure that folks who aren’t like you are part of that feedback circle. When you collect feedback from a diverse group, it can open your eyes to areas of opportunity you didn’t know you had or even superpowers that you were unaware of.” 

The diversity of your personal board of directors can and should extend beyond your current organization. Past managers, colleagues, and instructors, industry connections made through peer networking, user groups, or hackathons; and even authors or speakers whose work you admire can all make valuable mentors. 

At any given time, some mentor relationships will be very active, while others may lay dormant, with the potential to be activated at key moments. “You want to have an array of people who can help you with a particular situation at a particular point in your career. You may not talk to them all the time, but they’re available to you when you need them,” says Denise McInerney, director of development at Intuit. 

Making connections where connections are made

Industry organizations and events can be an excellent place to find a mentor, whether through a formal program or through the networking opportunities they offer. For example: 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our blogs on mentorship in tech and found them useful for advancing your own career journey. If you’re interested in exploring opportunities for mentorship as part of the Intuit organization, visit our Careers at Intuit site to find out how you can join our team.