“Finding male allies and mentors is a challenge for women. However, once you do strike gold and find them, it is key to remain engaged with them in the long term, throughout your career.
I’ve been lucky enough over the course of my own career to find many male mentors and allies. And, I love working with them as well on projects that have a larger impact and outcomes.
One recent example of this long-term engagement happened when I lucked out and struck up a mentor in my former business school dean, Dr. David Borst. Although I graduated several years ago now from Concordia University Wisconsin, he recently also retired as dean. We had the opportunity to chat and figure out how to collaborate on a bigger project, now that he had more time to dedicate to something broader reaching.
As someone who had additionally set up a women’s mentoring program in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI (he calls it an ‘advisory board’), we decided it would be important to collaborate on a book project that describes how to set up a mentoring program for women – through the lens of a male perspective (his) and mine as a woman.
The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring was born in the spring of 2017. It is a his and hers perspective on setting up women’s mentoring programs.
Once the book was launched, I attended his women’s advisory board and we shared our story of the book and the collaboration. He held a fire side chat and book launch in Milwaukee later that evening, where we chatted from a his and hers perspective about the value of mentoring women, male allies and collaboration.
We also had each other on our respective radio show/podcast to discuss the collaboration. Dr. Borst’s radio show is on the air in Milwaukee, where I appeared as a guest about the book, and I had him as a guest on a podcast that I co-host about career development, The Pharmacy Podcast.
I also had Dr. Borst come to Indianapolis, my hometown, where I serve as president for a nonprofit association, The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Indiana Chapter. Dr. Borst moderated a panel of all men — we called them “Manbassadors” — to discuss why and how to mentor women in healthcare and life sciences.
In the end, on this project, my mentor became my peer in many respects (although I certainly still consider him a mentor). And more than a dozen years after b school for me, I have the pleasure and honor of remaining connected to Dr. Borst.
No woman is an island, and we need to continue to engage and foster long term, collaborative partnerships with our mentors and allies. I appreciate his time and talent, and most of all the opportunity to share an idea with and through him to a wider audience.”
– Erin, Author, The “S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring”
Erin Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD is an author, entrepreneur, pharmacist, lawyer and podcaster. She has authored over 20 books, which can be found at her website, www.erinalbert.com.
Dr. Borst also has a website, www.borstthebrand.com.