Mentoring for Success: Guiding Careers in Non-Traditional Industries Through Challenging Times


There are industries where women historically have been underrepresented which means the opportunities to find women mentors are few and far between.

Erin Goheen who is Vice President of Technology at XPO, a provider of freight transportation, intentionally seeks to encourage women to create successful careers in industries where they remain in the minority. Here’s the advice she shares:

1. Voice your opinion – you will be heard. Don’t be reluctant to share your views and ideas. Good leaders regardless of their gender are willing to listen to smart people with smart ideas. Leaders of both genders can be powerful advocates, and many are striving to make changes based on employee feedback.

2. Feel confident in your ability to take on more responsibilities – even if you don’t feel ready. Women are far less likely than men to apply for a position or ask for a promotion if they’re unsure that they fully meet all the requirements. Men are typically more self-confident, and risk-taking tends to come more comfortably for them. Don’t allow this to yield reluctance on your part. Raise your hand and be willing to face the risk of rejection head-on. If you fail, you can always get back up and find a path forward.

3. Your emotional intelligence is your differentiator – and your advantage. Remember that women often lead differently than men. They tend to be more focused on building sustainable relationships and prioritizing their team’s professional and personal development to ensure their success at the company and in their own career trajectories. Women offer an especially important perspective for employees who choose to have children and generally tend to have realistic work-life balance expectations, which is key to maintaining happy and engaged employees.

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