The Power of a Mentor Program

Did you know that companies with rich, diverse workforces are statistically more successful than their competitors?

  • In 2017, McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
  • The University of Arizona, Eller College of Management, has found that diverse companies become more creative. In their analysis of Fortune 500 companies, they found that companies that have women in top management roles experience what they call ‘innovation intensity’ and produce more patents — by an average of 20% more than teams with male leaders.

More importantly—women rock. They’re strong, smart, capable, and have just as a much of a place in the technology world as men do, but it’s not always as easy or accessible for them to get in the game and gain the support that will ensure their success. Extreme Networks is changing that companywide.

This is why we’ve created the Extreme Mentorship Program with our Women’s Leadership Council. The mission is to give specific coaching, support, and advice to female mentees who are looking for one-on-one support to develop both personally and professionally.

Here’s how it works: both mentors and mentees participate in a kickoff program before mentoring starts. Each employee will commit approximately an hour per month, and every pair will build their own tailored programs.

Extreme’s female leadership have been eager to participate, pairing with women throughout the company to share skillsets and help one another grow.

Why Did Extreme Networks Create the Women’s Leadership Council Mentoring Program?

“As women, it can be intimidating when you’re in a largely male-dominated profession, and it’s hard to really be a part of something when you don’t have a formalized program. The truth is, people are always yearning to be part of a team and a movement, so we decided to actually create one so that females at Extreme will know where to start.” – Sarah Nesland, GM Retail, Transportation & Logistics, Extreme Networks

  • As of now, women make up 20% of the Extreme Networks workforce.
  • 11% of Extreme female employees are in leadership roles.

Is this normal in the industry? Just about, but Extreme Networks is not built on normal, and we recognize the importance and opportunity in diversifying and enriching our employee base, as well as making a greater effort to extend opportunities to women who have so much to offer.

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We’re committed to empowering the women who make our solutions, services, and products possible. They deserve to be a part of a formalized mentoring program that’s designed to acknowledge and highlight the women in our field and company, as well as generate better results and turn the demographics of this organization around.

As the women of our workforce receive the tools they need to better cultivate their skillsets and education, they benefit as individuals, which is #1. By extension, Extreme Networks, and our mission benefit—and finally, our customers. It’s a win-win-win!

Why Should Female Employees Consider Participation?

All female employees should have access to everything they need to be part of something bigger, and to forge lasting connections with leaders who have strong backgrounds that can help them quicken their own personal time-to-market.

“If you can learn from someone who’s been there, done that, instead of going and trudging alone, you can accomplish your goals faster. You can increase your own satisfaction. You can achieve outcomes that are in line with what’s interesting to you as a person.” – Michelle Anderson, Vice President of Business Transformation, Extreme Networks

The tech space moves quickly, and those who work within it have to be on top of the game around-the-clock. What better way to stay ahead than to receive coaching and support that will help you achieve your learning and career goals?

Phase I of the Extreme Networks Program is Officially Rolled Out

We’re really excited to share that Extreme Networks has officially rolled out Phase I of our mentoring program, and we’d like to thank the contribution of all women within our organization and leadership team. Our hope is that this will be an opportunity for both women currently working with Extreme, and women who are looking for a supportive company to join the ranks of.

Our program is just getting started, and we have so much more to share. Look out for Part 2 of our Women’s Mentoring blog series to learn more about the details of the program, and what’s next for mentors and mentees.

*This blog post was co-authored by General Manager of Retail, Transportation, and Logistics Sarah Nesland and Vice President of Business Operations Michele Anderson at Extreme Networks. 

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