Minute Mentoring®: Speed Dating For Female Mentorship.

By Allie Eklund

Allie Eklund
Allie Eklund

Last Thursday, January 18th, InspireMidtown hosted Minute Mentoring®, an event that connected 10 Sacramentan female changemakers to dozens of women seeking mentorship. 

Created in D.C. back in 2009, Minute Mentoring® is “an award winning women’s leadership program featuring fast-paced, small group mentoring sessions – akin to speed dating – for women leaders and young women rising stars.” And the best part? Anyone can host.

I knew InspireMidtown had to host a Minute Mentoring® event the very moment I Googled “speed dating for mentors” and Minute Mentoring® popped up.

First off, what’s InspireMidtown? In 2014, I had this crazy idea to invite 10 women into my home after reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, and lead a discussion about careers and goals. Fast forward to 2017, we are a grassroots organization here in Sacramento, and we’ve substantially outgrown my living room.

InspireMidtown is a women’s empowerment community made up of passionate, curious, and ambitious women who care about professional development, strengthening female relationships, and we believe another woman’s success is an achievement for all of us. Oh, and we’d really like to end the wage gap.   

Back to Minute Mentoring®. How and why did we choose to host this event? One of the highlights from this year was the opportunity to be part of the research conducted for this Comstock’s article titled “A Good Mentor Is Hard To Find.” This article sheds light on the dynamic that women face not just in Sacramento, but all over. Finding a mentor is hard. Yet, it’s often a critical component of career advancement in today’s world.

After reading this Comstock’s article, it was clear that InspireMidtown needed to bring Sacramento women together in the same room and create space for live mentoring. I really believed that once there was a physical space for connection, deep and meaningful relationships would form.

Once the idea for this event was shared with the universe, our Sacramento community responded resoundingly. To be frank, InspireMidtown’s (very) grassroots organization had no budget for this event. Yet, women came out of the woodwork to help make this event possible.

Furthermore, every woman we reached out to with the request of sharing their time and advice not only said yes “I’ll be a mentor,” but each of them asked how they could help, shared the event with their network, and showed up in more ways than just physically being present the night of the event.

It was truly a night to remember! We were so humbled to hear that women who attended “learned, laughed, and cried” in connecting over the many stories from our mentors including ones of triumph, challenge, and professional growth.

We are so grateful to everyone who joined us, and a huge thank you to our sponsors:

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Mentors and Mentees gather for InspireMidtown’s Minute Mentoring®.
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Mentors Tracie Stafford, Vice President of Ovation Public Relations, and Courtney Dempsey of Good Day Sacramento.
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Mentor Jennifer Zachariou, Senior Community Health Specialist with Dignity Health.
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Mentor Bridget Powers, Former Mayor of Auburn and current Council member of Auburn.
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Mentor Nicole Rogers, Director Farm2Fork.
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Mentors Tina Reynolds, owner of Uptown Studios, and Sacramento Councilmember Angelique Ashby.
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Mentor Katherine Bardis of Bardis Homes.

 

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Mentor Christina Elliott, Executive Director of the California ABLE Act Board.
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Mentor Melissa Camilleri, owner and CEO of Compliment, Inc.

 

 

 

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