Dr. Joy Hicks

Leadership Coach

Dr. Joy Hicks | Why Female Mentorship is Important

Dr. Joy Hicks

Dr. Joy Hicks is a life and leadership coach who helps individuals transform their mindset to achieve the success they want in life and work. Dr. Hicks started the Awaken the Leader in You coaching program to help individuals, especially women, that feel stalled, stuck, or struggling in the current phase of their careers and are ready to step into their next level of growth.

Dr. Joy Hicks

Why Female Mentorship is Important

The number of women in leadership has seen unprecedented growth in recent years. Not just in number but also in the high levels of leaderships in organizations and government. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, women held 40% of manager positions and 28% of senior management positions across all organizations. However, the rise of women in leadership roles remains somewhat limited. Only 6% of the CEOs in the S&P 500 are women and less than 10% of women hold C-Suite Executive roles in the US. Even with equal opportunity employment and affirmative action initiatives, elite leadership positions are still primarily held by white, heterosexual males.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are fully aware of the many obstacles that women face as they climb the ladder in an attempt to ascend to the highest levels of leadership. Beyond the “glass ceiling” predicament, women in organizations fail to reach the higher ranks of leadership for other reasons than because of the unfavorable attitudes towards women. One of the reasons that are rarely discussed is that way too often some women opt out of further advancement. The challenges can be stressful, upsetting and often devastating. As a result, some simply give up. They have lost their ambition. They are no longer inspired. They do not feel like it is worth the disappointments of being told no over and over again. They feel as though they have to choose a career or a family. “They can’t have it all.” The list goes on and on.

Unlike men, women lack the mentorship needed to endure these challenging times. More mentorships would prevent discouraged women that aspire to be leaders from abandoning their pursuit of leadership roles.

In my own experiences, I have noticed that the very presence of female leaders or role models can have an inspirational effect on women that aspire to reach the highest levels of leadership. Confidence in the possibilities and opportunities alone help women to stay determined when they have living examples up close and personal. Unfortunately, many companies still exist that may not have female leaders as role models. The difficulties women face without the presence of female role models is often why they give up. However, we should not give up. We need to seek out other avenues in order to support ourselves and one another in sustaining our ambitions to enter or rise in leadership.

Peer Groups

Women that aspire to be leaders and women that are in positions of leadership need to seek out women’s leadership groups. In these groups, women share and learn ways to handle challenging situations and how to stay motivated from others that are experiencing similar challenges or have already overcome them.


Seeking out a mentor or joining a mentoring program can also be beneficial to women that aspire to be leaders. Women who have already achieved a certain level of success are often willing to mentor others. It can be as simple as reaching out to several women that you have a connection with and ask if they are available or know someone who is. It would even be more beneficial to have multiple mentors because everyone may have something different to offer. Ask your connections for referrals if you do not know any women in leadership personally.


Working with a life or leadership coach can also be helpful when struggling with the work-life balance or any other challenge that pursing leadership roles may present. A coach is someone that can help you to manage your feelings and help you to stay focused, motivated and empowered. Coaches can also assist you in gaining the skills, knowledge and abilities needed to become a high performing leader as you rise to higher levels of leadership.