At dinner one night with my husband, which like most nights is standing at our kitchen island juggling the responsibilities of taking care of our little one and never-ending work demands, I remember telling him that I was going to be a part of a more formal mentoring program. A program where the mentoring would be nearly 100% remote, paired with a young woman three time zones away and oh yeah, she is 100x smarter than I, evidenced to her technical degree and career choice. He laughed and politely said, you don’t do anything formal! He isn’t wrong. I have personally never been a part of a formal mentoring program like the one U.S. WIN has launched in 2021. As a newbie to this formal process, I must say it has been rewarding for me, as I hope it’s been for Sara.
Bi-weekly we find time to connect, unwind, and discuss some of the harder topics that weigh on our minds. Am I a good leader? Did I handle this conflict at work appropriately? What can I do today to make me successful tomorrow? We spend just 1% of our working hours together; the other 99% of the time managing interactions, making choices, and solving problems on our own. Although our conversations may influence Sara’s day to day, most of the time she is coaching herself. I am only here to help her help herself.
In October we planned to meet in person, after all we are both off the chart extroverts. Sara and her husband flew out to Arizona to stay with my family, which was just what we both needed. After introducing her to the good champagne on the shelf, we opened up to one another even more. We shared stories from our personal lives, struggles during the COVID-19 pandemic, and really began to appreciate what we both overcome each day as women in nuclear. There is no doubt in my mind that after the pilot program ends, we will still make time to ensure we hold one another accountable to reach our professional and personal goals.
Vice President, D&D Business Development