Barbara Ross-Denroche – EY Women Athletes Business Networking Mentoring Program
“In 1997 Katie Baker and I were matched as mentee and mentor for the EY Women Athletes Business Network Mentoring Program. It is rewarding to review the relationship and Katie’s accomplishments.
Prior to meeting Katie captained the Canadian National Field Hockey Team and represented Canada on the world stage from 2006-2012. She played in the Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and Olympic qualifying tournaments, retiring from her athletic career in 2012. Her professional experience in communications and engagement, and a passion for a career in leadership development, led us to being matched for this program.
Our mentoring relationship began with a set of goals and objectives Katie desired to achieve, and I learned quickly that Katie’s goal driven nature would lead to her progressive, consistent accomplishments. Shortly after we met, Katie and other EY athletes attended the 2017 IWF World Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas, and in conjunction with the conference attended a unique leadership development training experience. Our monthly meetings continued with a strong focus on Katie’s vision, along with my mentorship and sponsorship. Our regular meetings provided a framework for honest conversations regarding strengths and weaknesses. Katie has a strong sense of self and often brought questions and opportunities to help us broaden the topics.
Through our formal mentoring time Katie did have opportunities to develop and facilitate programs within the firm she worked with, and she continuously sought more scope for leadership development. Katie also became a certified coach during this time. In 2019, Katie was hired as Director of Programs by Minerva BC, a Vancouver-based charity dedicated to advancing leadership of women and girls, a position which fit her values.
Through our mentoring relationship and friendship, which continues today, Katie married and recently became a mother. Both Katie and I believe the success of our mentoring partnership was Katie’s strong career vision, having a structure such as regular meetings and goal discussions, brutally honest conversations, and from the outset, a positive match and fit.”
Julia Kim – Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative (ALI)
“ALI is a third stage in higher education designed to prepare experienced leaders to take on challenges where they wish to make a social impact. It is a year-long, multi-disciplinary program to build knowledge on a wide range of pressing societal challenges. Harvard ALI is an exceptional program that offers rigorous curriculum, access to courses and events across the university, and new skills to develop plans for the pathway to social impact.
The year I spent in the ALI program was the most stimulating, enriching and satisfying experience of my life. It has opened my eyes, mind and heart to see the world differently.”
On being a mentor -
“Being a mentor is an opportunity to support a mentee through personal or professional challenges.
Sometimes mentees embrace the process wholeheartedly and some do not. I have had both. A mentor and mentee is like any other relationship it has to be strong for the process to succeed. If it does not work it is time to find another mentor and mentee combination. But when it works it is magic!
When the process works both mentee and mentor learn a tremendous amount. As a mentor I am always pleasantly surprised how much I also learn along with the mentee.”