Women in STEM & Healthcare (WISH) at Intouch is a women’s leadership network created by two marketing coordinators — Anan Vijay and Anna Mandarino — to facilitate communication, support, and the flow of resources between Intouch’s various departments and affiliates. The initiative was designed under the guidance of the Inclusion + Diversity with the help of director of inclusion Antonio Rivera and inclusion, and diversity manager Adrienne Bradford to continue to champion diversity, empowerment, and mentorship.
The main goal of WISH is to create opportunities for women through mentorship. About 6 months ago, WISH launched the first women’s Mentorship in Action program. This program assigns mentee groups to a mentor at Intouch, whose purpose is to provide personal and professional guidance and encourage growth opportunities for career advancement.
WISH wanted to highlight an interview from one of their unique mentor/mentee groups in order to show the advantages of our initiative. This group has been meeting for the past few months and includes featured mentor, Sarah Lacy, senior director, Marketing and Communications, and her mentees, HR talent acquisition manager Ashlee Rasmussen and senior strategic planner Kathryn Silva.
What does mentorship mean to you?
Sarah: Mentorship means having someone looking after your best interests. Someone who is there to listen, offer advice, and encourage you throughout your career. An objective view of a situation and a sounding board when you need one. Mentorship is also about perspectives and not always someone tenured in their career mentoring someone entry-level. I learn just as much from my conversations with Ashlee and Kathryn as I hope they learn from me!
Why did you sign up for this mentorship program?
Ashlee: Everyone could use some continued professional and emotional support and career advice, right?! I thought it would be silly for me not to sign up! Not to mention, I am at a point in my career where I am beginning to take on mentees and direct reports myself, so having that additional sounding board as I work through these major transitions seemed extremely beneficial – this program could not have come at a better time!
This program could not have come at a better time! — HR talent acquisition manager Ashlee Rasmussen
What did you EXPECT out of this mentorship program? Were your expectations met?
Kathryn: I expected a safe place to voice any challenges we are facing and goals we are trying to achieve and gain new perspectives on how to be successful in those. Definitely have been met! 😊
What is ONE thing you have learned about yourself in this process?
Ashlee: I’ve learned that I need to prioritize myself more. I cannot be my best self for my team, the candidates and hiring managers I work with, or my family and loved ones if I am not setting healthier boundaries for myself.
Why do you think mentorship is necessary at Intouch?
Sarah: Mentorship is necessary for everyone! But in our environment of working from home, we miss out on a lot of those causal water cooler conversations we would have with people from different teams if we were in the office. To continue to grow and be successful in your career, you need to step out of your silo and gain perspective from others. And we are fortunate that Intouch is full of very smart, approachable people. Ashlee, Kathryn, and I are not in the same departments or even the same office location, and I am not sure our paths would have crossed without this program. I am grateful for them and this opportunity.
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Author information: Anna Mandarino is a marketing coordinator for Intouch Oxygen; Anan Vijay is a marketing coordinator for Intouch Group.