Do You Have a Mentor?

Interview with Estelle Roux-Stevens for the Women in STEM, Reimagined masterclass.


Part of this masterclass series intends to help women in STEM find mentors within their field. To assist in that process, we are talking to Estelle Roux-Stevens about the different types of mentoring so you can discern what is right for you. 

“I wouldn’t be where I am without some key mentors along the way,” Estelle shares. And Estelle has come a long way in her career. Estelle Roux-Stevens has more than 20 years of experience in Global HR. Her background is in stand-alone strategic People Development and Talent Acquisition roles, with a strong focus on training, consultancy, mobile workforce and mentoring. 

First, it is vital to understand the difference between coaching and mentoring. 

Coaching vs. Mentoring

A coach is an individual you can hire for a certain amount of time who is impartial and outside the company. A coach can help you define your career strategy and path. Hiring a coach will be the right choice if you are unclear on what you should do and where you are going. Estelle further states that a coach would also never give advice and is instead helping you decide what it is you want to aim for. 

A mentor is someone inside the company who is just a little ahead of you in the journey. Finding a mentor will help you know what you want, the path, and your goals. A mentor can help you see the path better and give examples of how they got there or saw others get there. They do not have to be at the pinnacle of their field but can be someone just a little more experience. This is someone in your area you can learn from and ask for advice when things get tricky.

There are three types of mentors:

1) Peer Mentor

A peer mentor or “buddy mentor” is someone you find early on in your corporate career. A lot of corporations have a mentorship program for new hires. Estelle thinks this is a great thing: “It’s a fantastic message to employees that the business cares about where you land within the organization.” 

Having a mentorship program as part of an onboarding program helping new hires through the first 30-90 days is beneficial for everyone involved. By matching the new hire with someone who has recently gone through that same journey, the new hire learns the unwritten and unspoken rules of the corporation. Estelle explains that they learn “how things work; The cultural nuances.” 

The company benefits because the mentor can give feedback to HR on what worked and what didn’t work for the mentee in the interviewing and onboarding process. And the mentor gets to be a part of helping someone grow and develop, which is very rewarding in itself. 

2) Career Mentor

A career mentor is an advocate for you within the company. Professional development is top of mind when working with this type of mentor. Estelle shares, “this is someone who has your back, and is a trusted advisor who knows how things work”. You know what you want career wise? This type of mentor can help you build a plan to achieve your career goals. 

3) Life Mentor

The life mentor, or aspirational mentor is like zooming out of your entire life in combination with your career. This mentor can help you work on those big, all encompassing life goals. The right life mentor is someone who aligns with your personal values and aspirations. They have walked a similar path to the one you envision for yourself, but they might not be in the same company or even field. But their career and life is inspiring to you. You aspire to be like them. Estelle says that you might not even ever meet your life mentor in person, but they still guide you from afar. 

Benefits of mentoring

Just in case you are not yet convinced, let’s look at mentoring by the numbers. Estelle shares these statistics from the Harvard Business Review:

  • 80% of learning happens within the mentor and mentee relationship in the corporate world.
  • 75% of public sector executives describe mentorship as critical to their career development. 
  • 71% of Fortune 500 companies offer some sort of mentoring program.

Missed Women in STEM, Reimagined? 


Estelle Roux-Stevens has more than 20 years of experience in Global HR. Her background is in stand-alone strategic People Development and Talent Acquisition roles, with a strong focus on training, consultancy, mobile workforce and mentoring. Connect with Melissa on LinkedIn here.


Dr. Nicole Tschierske is a positive psychology coach who helps women in STEM get noticed in their company so they attract their next opportunity with total ease.

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