Unlocking Success: Why mentorship is crucial for thriving in tech and finance

Virginia Backaitis
4 min readMar 21, 2023

Guest post by Kathy Park

Mentorship is incredibly important — not just for women and people of color. But when you are in the minority, having someone who wants to help you succeed is incredibly powerful and helpful. And I’ve been fortunate to have that all the way through my career, which started at Goldman Sachs in the late 1990s.

Mentors can guide you in your career because you don’t know what you don’t know. So it’s good just to have other people who are aware of the context, the environment, and have more experience navigating those, so they can make your path easier.

Finding a mentor

Sometimes, finding a mentor happens organically. Some firms will actually assign mentors and sponsors. Other times, it’s who you naturally gravitate towards. In my case, there were always people that I just admired. I’d be in a meeting with them and just think, “Wow, that person is so impressive or interesting or funny.”

Finding a mentor can also be as simple as finding someone who looks like you because, chances are, they can relate to your experience better. Also, don’t be afraid to just ask for a mentor, especially if you’re at a larger firm. If you want a mentor on a formal basis, talk to your manager or someone…