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The Working Mother’s Research Institute found that 77% of women say a top barrier to gender equity in corporate America is a lack of information on how to advance. Reflecting on my own path to becoming Partner and CXO at Experiences For Mankind, I know mentorship made all the difference.

I was one of the lucky ones.

Thanks to very generous and supportive mentors, I had guidance early on. I’m happy to be in a position now where I can return the favor to up-and-coming professionals, especially women.

To honor these mentorships, the ladies of Experiences For Mankind decided to share our stories about the female mentors, teachers, and coworkers that gave a supportive lift in our own careers.

Morgan Graham, Partner & Chief Experience Officer

I want to give so much thanks to my mentor, Ellen Petry Leanse. She was a bright sparkle in my life when we met almost a decade ago. She showed me that new thinking, new processing, and new energy was possible by living her own truth in it. Not only was this amazingly successful woman giving me so much of her valuable time — she also was one of the first C-level women to give me reinforcement of what was achievable in my career. We are now great friends and have traveled together throughout the U.S. I cannot send enough love to her!

Kira Collins, Strategist

I’ve been hugely impacted by my mentor, Elizabeth Briody, who’s supported and inspired me throughout my grad program and transition into work. Over the course of her successful career, she’s been a massive influence and leader in our field — dedicating her efforts towards improving the way we educate and practice anthropology.

With her guidance, I’ve been able to achieve professional development and opportunities I otherwise wouldn’t have. I’ve truly come into my own as a practicing anthropologist, and now I’m using the unique perspective she helped me gain as a Strategist. I’m so grateful for her guidance, wisdom, and energy which have given me continued passion for writing my own professional story. You can learn more about her and the work we’ve been doing for anthropology here.

Oriana Jones, Content Writer & Producer

I’d like to thank the woman who helped kickstart my career in advertising, Gina Greco. Kind, smart, dedicated and fearless — her passion for advertising is contagious. We met when I joined the Portfolio Masterclass as a post-grad struggling to find my way. As my first instructor, her approach to creative thinking changed the way I thought about everything!

When I didn’t think I was qualified enough to enter a student competition, she pushed me to apply. Without her, I likely wouldn’t have had the confidence to step up as our team leader. We ended up winning first place and later traveling to the One Show Awards in NY!

When I thought of stopping the portfolio program due to financial reasons, she offered a work exchange deal that gave me valuable experience and ultimately helped me land the job I have now. Thank you, Gina, for furthering the careers of so many hopeful creatives and continuing to be the embodiment of a truly remarkable leader!

Angela Renac, Associate Creative Director

I’ve been lucky to have worked in primarily small agencies with pretty solid female representation on our creative, client, and strategic teams. Three of the companies on my resumé have been led by female partners or directors at one time or another. I’ve been surrounded by driven, savvy women pushing the integrity of our work and the boundaries of our profession — demanding a seat at the table. Some may have had to work harder to be taken as seriously as others at said table, but they were never defeated or deterred.

While I’ve never had the pleasure of a single female mentor, simply seeing women taking charge on a daily basis has had a huge influence on me. I’ve had the luxury of never questioning if I would be taken seriously or doubting the value I can add to a discussion, because the women who came before me set a clear example that anything you believe you can do, you can. It’s my responsibility to continue to forge that path for the women who will come after me.

Are you looking to join a diverse and inclusive team that empowers women? Send us a note, we’re always wanting to connect with Designers, Account Managers, and Strategists.

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