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Why having an external mentor is essential

news published date 13 March 2024
  • Communities
Find out why one of the advantages of joining the WIBF Mentoring programme is being introduced to an external mentor. We delve into the benefits of partnering with someone from another firm.

In our professional lives, having an external mentor – someone outside our immediate circle or organisation – is like having a secret weapon for success. 

While internal mentoring can be incredibly valuable, external mentors bring a broader range of experiences and insights from different companies, sectors, backgrounds and career paths. 

This diversity often leads to more innovative solutions and a wider network of opportunities. Whether it’s an external mentor or an internal advisor, having someone to lean on can make all the difference in achieving our goals and navigating the twists and turns of your career. 

Let’s dive into the advantages of signing up to the WIBF mentoring programme and connecting with someone from another company and why it is essential for our growth and development.

Fresh Perspectives

As a mentor from a different company or industry, you bring fresh perspectives and insights that may not be readily available within the mentee’s organisation. Your alternative viewpoints and innovative solutions can invigorate the mentee’s thinking, offering new approaches to challenges they face.

Broader Network

Mentoring provides an opportunity to introduce mentees to a broader network of professionals, opening doors to new opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships beyond their immediate industry. Your connections and resources can enrich the mentee’s professional ecosystem, providing access to valuable contacts they might not have encountered otherwise.

Diverse Skill Sets

Your diverse skill set and experiences from another company or sector can complement those of the mentee, enhancing their learning and development. By sharing your expertise, you expose them to new ways of thinking and problem-solving, ultimately fostering a more well-rounded skillset.

Cross-Industry Learning

Mentoring relationships allow you to share insights into best practices, trends, and strategies from your industry, facilitating cross-industry learning for the mentee. Your knowledge can help them gain a broader understanding of different sectors, leading to innovation and adaptation in their own field. It can also benefit you as you learn from your mentee. 

Innovation and Creativity

As a mentor from outside the mentee’s firm, you can inspire innovation and creativity by introducing them to different approaches, technologies, and business models. Your diverse perspectives can fuel their creativity and encourage out-of-the-box thinking, driving innovation in their work.

Career Exploration

Mentoring provides an opportunity to offer guidance and advice on career exploration outside the mentee’s current field. By sharing insights into other industries, you can help them broaden their horizons and pursue new opportunities, shaping their long-term career trajectory.

Risk Mitigation

Your experiences on a different career path can offer valuable advice on risk management and mitigation strategies, helping the mentee anticipate and navigate potential challenges. Your insights contribute to their risk mitigation efforts, ultimately increasing their resilience in the face of adversity.

Personal Development

Interacting with mentees from different companies or sectors allows you to foster their personal growth and development. By challenging them to step out of their comfort zones and adapt to new environments, you help them cultivate adaptability and resilience, preparing them for future challenges.

Cultural Awareness

Mentoring relationships with individuals from other companies promotes cultural awareness and sensitivity. Your exposure to different organisational cultures, norms, and practices helps mentees develop new ideas about their career path and appreciate diversity in the workplace.

Future-proofing Skills

You can help mentees future-proof their skills and adapt to evolving trends and disruptions. By sharing insights from your sector, you enable them to stay abreast of developments, positioning them as agile and forward-thinking professionals and bringing new ideas into their workplace. 

Overall, having a mentor from another company or industry sector can enrich mentees’ professional development, expand their networks, and enhance their ability to thrive in an increasingly interconnected and dynamic global economy. 

In essence, being mentored by someone from a different company or industry sector can enrich the professional development of mentees, broaden their networks, and bolster their capacity to excel in an ever-evolving and interconnected global economy.


At WIBF we are committed to providing members with someone who can help them shape their career and achieve their goals.  People who choose to mentor provide invaluable experience, knowledge and help to unlock potential in future leaders.  It is a rewarding experience which can enrich your own career, develop your own leadership skills and give you new perspectives. 

If you too want to be a part of the journey to support women in the industry, please sign up to join the community of people already committed to creating a legacy and shaping the leaders of the future.