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Women mentoring women breaks down barriers to DEI in the workplace, says Dr. Laurie Moroco

Dr. Laurie Moroco

Let’s talk about women mentoring women in business! Who better to have the conversation with than Dr. Laurie Moroco? The Certified Business Coach has herself felt the incredible power of mentorships, specifically from other successful women. She continues to raise up women across numerous industries. She explains in the interview below how mentorship improves DEI in the workplace, empowers women by fostering confidence, and more. You won’t want to miss these valuable insights.

Disclosure: This sponsored post features one woman who gives back to other women in business after experiencing the power of mentoring. Helping others is beautiful to see!

Interview with Dr. Laurie Moroco

Laurie Moroco, Ph.D., is a Certified Business Coach, Keynote Speaker, and Corporate Trainer. She brings over 25 years of industry experience, from teaching higher education to business coaching. Dr. Moroco’s efforts to empower women are incredible, and it’s a pleasure to have her here today.

She supports healthy business relationships, and a key part of that is mentorship. So that’s what we’re focusing on today. Let’s get to the first question!

At what point did you realize the importance of mentorship, specifically from other successful women?

I was a marketing intern in college, and my female boss quickly became my mentor. She was beautiful, confident, intelligent, and could easily command a room. This was my first opportunity to work with a powerful woman.

Even though I was only 19 or 20, she treated me respectfully and gave me opportunities to shine. She inspired me to be a role model for younger women.

That must factor into why empowering women is so important to you. Why else is this topic close to your heart?

I was born and raised in a small town in Western Pennsylvania to a middle-lower-class family. I was a first-generation college student and was never encouraged to spread my wings. Staying within a 60-mile radius of my small town was as far as I was supposed to go.

I was a little girl with big dreams but had no guidance on how to get there. I was taught to act small and stay in my lane.

Statistically speaking, I should not be where I am today. As I climbed the professional ladder,  I saw that high-performing women often lack assertiveness when leading in male-dominated industries… I was one of them. I wanted to teach women to earn the admiration of our peers and be perceived as valuable contributors without being compared to our male counterparts.

I love that strength! In what ways do you empower other women today?

I empower women by starting with communication. A solid foundation of essential and practical communication skills can be the difference between success and failure.

I teach them how to use assertion messages and write emails that show confidence, and we practice talking through real-life challenges they may be facing with a colleague or supervisor.

Those conversations can be life-changing, I’m sure. What makes women mentoring women so unique?

Women are often afraid to use their voices and stand up for themselves. We sometimes lack confidence and have to walk a fine line between being too passive or too aggressive.

We also deal with imposter syndrome and feel that we aren’t good enough. Younger women may face challenges establishing their careers, finding their voice, and navigating through early professional experiences. As women age, they may encounter additional pressures and expectations related to family, caregiving, and work-life balance, which can impact their confidence levels.

If we can empower each other to be confident and equip others with practical tools, then we have done our job as a mentor and celebrate her newfound strength and courage.

(Nodding vigorously). How can mentoring help break down barriers to DEI for women in the workplace?

Society often perpetuates gender stereotypes that associate assertiveness with masculinity and passivity with femininity. Imposter syndrome, a lack of representation in leadership roles, and gender bias can all impact women’s self-belief and hinder assertiveness. In male-dominated industries or workplaces, women may feel intimidated or perceive a power imbalance when interacting with male colleagues.

Women continue to be underrepresented in top executive roles and boardrooms. Women, on average, earn less than their male counterparts for performing similar work. Women may face the “double-bind” dilemma, where they are perceived as either too assertive or not assertive enough.

Connecting with other women in their industry who have successfully navigated male-dominated environments can be a game changer. I encourage women to seek guidance, advice, and mentorship from women they look up to. Building a network of supportive individuals can help us navigate challenges and boost our confidence.

In addition to building this network, what else must professional women do to get ahead?

Several factors are needed for professional women to get ahead in their careers. First and foremost, equal opportunities are crucial, ensuring women have the same access to education, job opportunities, and career advancement as their male counterparts.

Creating supportive work environments that value diversity and inclusion is also essential, including mentorship and sponsorship opportunities for women. Establishing vital mentorship programs and encouraging networking can provide guidance and open doors to new opportunities.

Promoting women’s representation in leadership positions, investing in skill development, and offering workplace policies and flexibility are vital. Advocacy and awareness about gender equality further contribute to creating a more equitable work environment.

By addressing these factors collectively, we can empower professional women and foster their career advancement.

Laurie Moroco quote

Thank you for such a thoughtful reply that encourages action in these areas. I’m curious, what does a healthy mentoring experience look like?

Trust, clear expectations, and a supportive environment characterize a healthy mentoring experience. The mentor and mentee build a relationship based on mutual respect, where open communication and confidentiality are valued.

The mentor provides guidance, advice, and support to the mentee, helping them set and achieve their goals. They share their expertise, offer constructive feedback, and encourage the mentee’s personal and professional development.

Accountability and regular feedback are essential to track progress and address areas for improvement. A healthy mentoring relationship is built on mutual learning, respect for each other’s perspectives, and a long-term commitment to the mentee’s growth and success.

With that in mind, how does someone start being a mentoree or mentor?

To start the process of being a mentoree or a mentor, you must clearly understand your goals and expectations. As a mentoree, identify what you hope to achieve and research potential mentors who align with your needs. Reach out to them with a polite message expressing your interest and set up an initial meeting to discuss expectations. Formalize the mentoring relationship by establishing a regular meeting schedule and defining the format.

As a mentor, assess your expertise and availability, and seek mentee opportunities through networks or mentorship programs. Engage in conversations to determine if your goals align and establish clear boundaries.

Once both parties are interested, formalize the relationship by discussing logistics and expectations. Communication, clarity, and professionalism are critical to a successful mentoring experience.

Is mentorship the same as coaching? Can it include coaching?

Mentorship and coaching are related but distinct concepts, and while they have some overlapping aspects, they are not the same. Mentorship is a developmental relationship where a more experienced person (mentor) provides guidance, support, and advice to a less experienced person (mentee) in a specific field or area. It typically involves a broader focus on career growth, professional development, and personal growth.

On the other hand, coaching is a more structured and goal-oriented process that involves a trained professional (coach) providing guidance and helping individuals clarify their goals, develop specific skills, and overcome obstacles. Coaching often focuses on particular areas of improvement, performance enhancement, and skill acquisition.

While mentorship and coaching have distinct approaches, they can complement each other. Mentorship can include coaching elements by offering guidance and helping mentees set and achieve specific goals. Similarly, coaching may involve mentoring-like aspects, such as sharing insights and experiences to enhance the coaching process.

Whether mentorship includes coaching or not depends on the specific dynamics and objectives of the mentoring relationship. Some mentors may naturally incorporate coaching techniques, while others focus more on providing broader guidance and support.

Business coach quote from Laurie Moroco, Ph.D.

What does working with you look like, and what can women hope to take away from the coaching sessions?

My primary objective is to build a relationship with my client. I want to get to know her goals, dreams, and challenges.

After that, we start to set achievable goals and chip away at them little by little. Coaching is a process, and it takes time and accountability.

I often text my clients between sessions to check in on them, send notes of encouragement, and ask, “How can I help?” or “What do you need from me?”

All of my clients have my phone number and can text or call whenever they need me. I will be her biggest cheerleader, and together we will celebrate the little (and big) victories.

Love that! One final question — Who inspires you in daily life?

My daughter inspires me every day to do what I do. I have taught her from a young age to be assertive, stand up for herself, use her voice, and take up space. I want her to hear how I empower other women so it becomes natural for her.

At 17, she is way more confident than I ever was. I cannot wait to see her grow into a female role model herself.

Connect further with Dr. Laurie Moroco

As you can tell from our conversation, Laurie Moroco is very down-to-earth, giving, and genuinely wants to help others! I appreciate her efforts to help women in business succeed by sharing her knowledge and experience in ways that help them through challenges.

She kindly provides her email to reach out for business inquiries, from coaching to keynote speaking opportunities or as a corporate trainer:

Head to Dr. Laurie Moroco‘s website to find out more about how she empowers career-driven businesswomen. Find details about her training and coaching services and how she can benefit your next event as a keynote speaker. Book a complimentary consultation service through her site to learn more.

She’s also on social media! Connect with Dr. Moroco on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn today.


Top photo: Meet Dr. Laurie Moroco. Photo used with her permission.

2 thoughts on “Women mentoring women breaks down barriers to DEI in the workplace, says Dr. Laurie Moroco”

  1. This is such a wonderful interview.I can relate quite a bit to Dr. Laurie Moroco’s background. I also grew up in Pennsylvania as a first-generation college student as well. These Q&A are excellent reflections for an evolving world where women can be respected and admired in leadership roles. Let’s keep at it!!! Further, I love the explanation of how mentorship and coaching overlaps but is not the same thing. I have worked with both mentors in my specific field, and coaches. These have become formal, paid relationships over the years. I’ve been witnessing informal structures transform into contractual relationships. I’m still working on building my own business and am always looking for the right resource fit for my business and development. Thank you, Christy, for helping Dr. Laurie Moroco get more exposure here. Thank you, always, for your work elevating women! I am certainly glad to have met her on your blog, and look forward to seeing more from her again.

    1. Hi Ka, thanks for bringing attention to how mentoring and coaching differ, which I also found a valuable part of this conversation. Keep going with your business building and I’ll be here to cheer you on! I know Dr. Moroco will appreciate your comment and time here. You are on your path, sharing your light, and it’s beautiful to see 💫

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