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Why Mentorship for Women Leaders is Important

Research proves the importance of diversity in leadership. Shikha highlights the main data points that drove the creation of a mentorship program for our women leaders.

Shikha Bajaj
Shikha Bajaj


The Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) mentorship pilot program launched in August 2020 in select cities throughout North America. Our current program is aimed at employees in career stages of Managers and above, with the goal of retaining, advancing, and supporting our women leaders. In addition to one-on-one mentoring, our programming includes monthly events and active participation from our leadership team in the forms of sponsoring and advising our rising leaders. Seeing great success in the pilot, we are now actively planning to expand this mentorship program to all women leaders in North America.


Creating business and career growth

According to a McKinsey study, diversity is directly linked to profitability. Companies in the top quartile for gender-diverse executive suites were 15% more likely to generate above-average profitability compared to the bottom quartile of companies whose executive teams were predominantly white and male (Why Diversity Matters).

Our leadership at PS is committed to investing in our women leaders. One proven way to support women’s growth in a company is through mentorship. Statistics show that those who are enrolled in a mentoring program have greater success at work and are:

  • More likely to receive a salary-grade change. 25% of employees who enrolled in a mentoring program had a salary-grade change, compared to only 5% of workers who did not participate.
  • More likely to get promoted. Mentees are promoted five times more often than those not in a mentoring program.
  • More likely to stay at the company. Retention rates were higher for both mentees (22% more) and mentors (20% more) than for employees who did not participate in a mentoring program (McCarthy Mentoring).

However, 63% of women have never had a formal mentor (Forbes). Further research indicates that this is not because women aren’t willing to mentor or mentee; it’s that they are not being asked (DDI). This is why – with the sponsorship of senior leadership – we launched the first-ever mentorship pilot program for women leaders.


"This is why – with the sponsorship of senior leadership – we launched the first-ever mentorship pilot program for women leaders."


The COVID-19 factor on women leaders

This program became even more vital during the pandemic. Data shows that the ongoing pandemic has further intensified challenges for women around work-life-balance with added burdens of childcare and virtual schooling and much longer work hours. These dynamics are forcing more than 25% women in the workforce to downshift their careers and/or leave the workforce entirely. This is an emergency for corporate America and us at Publicis Sapient, since we risk losing women in leadership and future women leaders and unwinding years of painstaking progress towards gender diversity and parity. (Sources: McKinsey, CNBC).


What we’re doing about it

I invite you to read my story on forming the first-ever Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) mentorship pilot program. A big thank you to the core team around me that made it all possible.


Mentorship Program Core Committee Members

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Shikha Bajaj
Shikha Bajaj
Senior Director, Agile Program Management
Shikha takes pride in being a change agent and a leader who creates multipliers. She believes that gratitude is the best attitude. Outside of work, you can find her volunteering for boy scouts, school and community fundraisers. She loves spending time with her family and enjoys outdoors hiking, biking, kayaking and skydiving.

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