#IMAGEInspires: The Power Of Having A Mentor


For every Sheryl Sandberg in life – any super successful businesswomen – comes the mentor that stood alongside her. We’re ever closer to wrapping up nominations for our 2016 Businesswoman of the Year Awards – click HERE to cast your nominating ballot before the end of today – and this morning, we’re thinking about mentors; the people who guided and encouraged us, who offered a hand when the chips were down.

The phrase, “A lot of people, have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could” rings true; chances are you worked that little bit harder under the guise that someone just knew you could do it. If you’re lucky to have a mentor in your career, you’ll know the enormous impact they have on your life and job – I was once told at the very start of mine that if I ever wanted to keep growing, I had to find a mentor.

I’ve been lucky to have more than one throughout my time in the working world, both of whom continue to inspire and push me to this very day. The first is Patrick Finnegan; a wonderful journalist I was lucky to work alongside for almost five years in my first proper journalism job. He encouraged me, helped me find my voice as a journalist and always pushed me to go that little bit further. To this day, I’ve never met anyone with his amount of wisdom, patience, and knowledge of any topic you can think of and I know how lucky I was to have him.

The second is my current editor Ellie Balfe. She keeps the whole ship going and her endless creativity, ideas and gentle kindness and guidance have an enormous impact on me; I strive to be better in her company.

We spoke to two of last year’s 2015  IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year winners about their mentors over the years:

Bernadette Saunders, CEO (Start-up winner 2015):

That person is really my grandfather. He always thought us to leave something on the table for the other party and to ensure if there is any value added you can give as part of a deal.

Chupi Sweetman, Creative Director Chupi Jewellery (Young Businesswoman winner 2015):

I’ve been incredibly lucky to be influenced by some truly wonderful women, from the super stylist Aisling Farinella who is my fashion fairy godmother to Jennie McGinn who is my business sister; we have grown up in our businesses together and she is always there for me whether I need advice or a hug.


Remember, IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year 2016 is taking place on Monday, November 21 2016 and we are looking for women who excel in their field. If you know a deserving client, colleague or friend, nominate them now!

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