Here’s what some of you had to say in response to last week’s column on the grassroots mentors:
First of all I would like to say that your article about dads as mentors is the reason I own my own business today.
Growing up, I would go on jobs with my dad, unknowingly learning the real basics of a hard work ethic. As a young girl (as most girls do) I cherished every moment I could spend with my dad, as I had five brothers and sisters to compete with for his attention. As the years went by, I would watch how hard my dad worked and [see] the benefits reaped from his hard work and [listen to his] words of wisdom such as loyalty, job security, providing a comfortable living, and best of all, being your own boss.
My dad is the number one biggest influence I have had in my life. When he passed away three years ago, there was a spark within me to pass on his legacy of all those values I had picked up on growing up. I am now a proud business owner and if my dad was alive to witness it, life would be that much sweeter.
I credit much of my business success to my dad!
There should be so much more credit given to our wonderful dads, as I truly believe I would not be where I am in business today if not for him. Every day I open the door to my business, I give thanks to all of the gifts that only a loving dad could have given me. I will continue his legacy and I am now passing this on to my own daughter.
I have never before written in response to an article, but feel compelled to respond to your recent column encouraging fathers to mentor their daughters.
My daughter Ashleigh was my first born, and my only girl. Her mother and I divorced when Ashleigh was very young, forcing a long distance relationship that was difficult sometimes. Still, I set aside opportunities and managed to see Ashleigh and her brother every other weekend for many years. Ash turned 20 last month, and I want to tell you what a lovely, intelligent woman she has turned out to be.
From the very beginning I have insisted that [no] education wasn’t an option for my children. I preached often, and at times rather loudly, that the only way to “make it” in this world was to get as much education as possible. To my horror, upon graduating high school, Ash declared that she would be taking time off to figure out what she wanted to do. I am ashamed to admit now that I felt that she was sacrificing her life, turning down opportunities that I had encouraged her to seek throughout her young life.
Recently, Ashleigh accepted a position with a major telecommunications company, and has, in the span of a few months, been elevated into a management position. She is well compensated, and more important, very happy with what she is doing. I was somewhat astonished recently when she gave me a full career plan, which includes finishing her education while continuing her career with this new company.
In short, I found that many of the tenets she quoted were things I had taught her throughout my own career, things that I wasn’t sure she had heard. I realize now that she heard, absorbed, and even more important, made modifications to suit her needs. I am very proud of my daughter, and look forward to watching her career in the coming years. If anyone can break the “glass ceiling”, it will be Ashleigh!
I have a 6 almost 7-year-old daughter. She wants to be a vet when she grows up. I support her in every way possible. I have her go with me when I take our pets to the vet. I encourage her to ask the vet about what he is doing. I strongly encourage her to excel in math and science. She took her science project to the state’s regional fair.
David J. B.
About a year ago, my granddaughter, Sophia, (8-years-old, at the time), was invited to go to work with her mom, (my daughter-in-law) - she's an audiologist. My son is a graphic designer, and works with complicated computer programs.
Sophia, for her age is pretty literate, and unusually curious about most things. She's made the principle's list two (2) years running. On the job with her mom, she was immediately drawn to the computer, after a few minutes, bored with the limitations at the terminal, asked the coder beside her, "How do you open a case file?"
Fathers can influence their daughters. To your point, my father-in-law, a finance professor, [always told my wife that there was nothing she couldn’t do]. My wife went to college, where we met, and graduated with a B.S. in industrial engineering. Her youngest sister also graduated with a B.S. in industrial engineering. The middle sister graduated with a B.A. in English and is doing very well herself today.
And I will definitely be encouraging my daughter to reach for the stars.
"Minding Her Business" is a column that covers issues affecting women in business and in the workplace. Female professionals (and male, too, if they wish) can use this resource to network, ask questions, receive and offer advice, share personal experiences … and you don’t ever have to leave your office. Just e-mail email@example.com. E-mails are subject to editing for length and content.