I am a product of impactful mentoring. Throughout my career formal and informal mentors have guided me, challenged me and helped me evolve into the person I am today. Mentoring takes so many forms and whether they coached me, role modeled for me, listened to me, advised me, supported me, counseled me or just acted as a trusted resource, they all contributed to my success. In turn, I have a passion for sharing my experience and mentoring others, particularly young women.
I am inspired by incredible women who have broken barriers and paved the way for other potential leaders. I am deeply conscious of how lucky I am to have a meaningful, gratifying senior leadership position, but I am also aware of how hard I had to work to reach this level. I am an immigrant, born in Ghana. My career path has not been linear, but I do not believe in chance occurrences. I am guided by the conviction that our lives are shaped by our own intention, sense of determination and preparation.
I am oriented around a sense of profound gratitude. That sense of gratitude is what inspires me to give back to others and my community. I have a particular passion for girls and young women, who are discovering themselves and their own potential. This passion comes from a desire to see young women find fulfillment in their own lives, on their own terms. But, it also comes from a deep seeded belief that everyone, regardless of gender or race, can harness their strengths and capabilities and apply them for the greatest good.
It is my fervent hope and belief that leading with clarity and authenticity, giving voice to others who have not yet discovered their own, nurturing potential and guiding others to find their optimal path, gives us the greatest possibility to impact society in a sustainable way. Mentoring others allows me to do just that.
I have benefited from many wonderful mentors throughout my career who have always challenged me to take risks, who have reminded me of my strengths, coached me through my weaknesses, and who have reinforced my desire to be well-intentioned, values oriented and authentic in my decision making and actions. Inspiring the next generation of leaders is my way of giving back and ensuring a strong, agile and productive future workforce.
Mia Mends is CEO, Benefits & Rewards, for Sodexo USA.