(TBT) D183: Rethinking the Need for More Mentors

Though unofficial, there are a handful of people I go to for advice but very few (that I know of) that are willing to shift their weight around to help me get something. I recognize now that it’s not new mentors I need, now I need sponsors, advocates, people with power who can speak up for mr when I’m not around.

I wonder what advice people have for attracting this next level of mentorship and advocacy. I see people in positions that I’d like to be in one day, but how does one overcome the hurdle of getting someone to take you under their wing? Especially, with few minority women in these roles, they oft feel too much pressure maintaining and justifying their position rather than to take on the additional trouble of teaching someone else how to navigate this?

People like Sheryl Sandberg (in this particular case) mean well but miss the mark. Their ideas of pulling yourself up by your bootstraps by “hiring a full-time nanny” or having your father give you a “small million-dollar loan” are precisely why it’s difficult for me to find successful people that can help me. Their perspectives come from places of unchecked privilege. What’s a black girl got to do to break the cycle??

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