Mentors aid in careerIf you don't have...


Mentors aid in career

If you don't have a mentor to guide your career, hire one.

A new study of women executives shows that if you're chosen as a protege to be guided by a more experienced, higher-ranking person -- you, too, will move up the career ladder faster.

"Women with mentors actually get more promotions faster," said Lucy R. Sibley, professor and chairwoman of the department of textiles and clothing at Ohio State University.

Ms. Sibley and LuAnn Ricketts Gaskill, assistant professor in the department of textiles and clothing at Iowa State University, are co-authors of a study of 205 women who work in retail.

Their research shows that 142 of the women, or 69 percent, had mentors. Of the 94 women in senior positions as store managers, vice presidents and divisional merchandise managers, 74 had mentors. Of the 111 middle managers who were branch personnel directors, group managers, buyers and senior buyers, had mentors.

Their first conclusion: Women with mentors move higher in the organization and are on a faster career track.

The researchers also found that of the 142 mentored women, 88 percent got promotions; 76 percent of those without mentors got promotions. Among middle managers, those with mentors were promoted on the average of 2.3 times over a five-year period, those without, only 1.7 times.

Air awards trim costs

U.S. businesses waste untold millions each year by not using their employees' frequent-flier points, a new study concludes.

Runzheimer International, a Wisconsin consulting firm whose reports govern the travel policies of thousands of companies, says less than 25 percent of businesses claim employee mileage awards.

But Don Witte, director of marketing services at USAir's Frequent Traveler Program center in Winston-Salem, N.C., says the popular programs are firmly entrenched in corporate and airline culture.

"They were set up as an incentive to new customers and to build brand loyalty," he says. "I don't see that changing."

In his report, Adlore Chaudier, director of Runzheimer consulting services, says frequent-flier miles "continue to represent a vast, untapped resource for companies wishing to cut travel costs."

"As a rule of thumb," says Mr. Chaudier, "companies should expect a savings of 5 percent to 10 percent on annual air travel if they use employee frequent-flier awards, with savings as high as 20 percent depending upon volume and routes traveled."

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