|Browse by Sport
|Find us on
April 16, 2019
KYLE CHILTON: Good afternoon and welcome everyone to this month's CoSIDA Capital One continuing education webinar. Today's topic is: Supporting women in the profession. It was organized by the CoSIDA Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
Before we begin, we would like to say a quick thank you to two of our corporate partners: Capital One and ASAP Sports. Capital One is the continuing sponsor of our continuing education and professional development series, while ASAP Sports provides the official full transcript of each monthly webinar. The webinar and ASAP Sports transcript will be posted later today in CoSIDA Connect.
During this webinar today you can ask your questions live to the presenters. Please use the chat box, which you'll find on the right side of the portal.
Today's panelists are Emily Dorko, associate athletic director from external relations for Adelphi University. Kimber Haner, assistant director of media relations at Arizona State University. Jaclyn Lam, assistant commissioner for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. And Chevonne Mansfield, director of communications for Lead1 Association.
My name is Kyle Chilton, I'm the assistant athletic director for athletic communications -- assistant director of communications at BYU. I will be today's moderator.
Our first topic is finding support in the office. We'll just start with the first question. Where do you look for support? We'll start with Emily.
EMILY DORKO: Sure. So I'm one of the younger I guess administrators in my department, in my athletics department. I definitely lean on a lot of the older females that I definitely look to as mentors.
So I've been back in my position now for two years. I definitely rely a lot on my SWA, if I have questions, because she has been here obviously a lot longer than I have. She's had experience working with coaches in different roles. She's compliance as well, but also a program administrator.
When I had to take that on, I kind of went to her a lot at the beginning to kind of the get advice, how to speak with them, how to help them, how program administrators are supposed to act as liaisons.
Definitely looking at a lot of people within the department, but then I also rely a lot on people across campus that were once in athletics or just people that I work with pretty consistently on campus, so...
KYLE CHILTON: Great. Jaclyn.
JACLYN LAM: For me working at a conference office, we can reach out to our institutions and get help that way and support. But we actually rely a lot on each other. We have four full-time employees, five right now, and so we find support within each other, going to each other's offices, asking questions, seeing if we can work on different things.
I am one of the youngest administrators in our office. So having administrators who have been in the RMAC longer than I have, going to them for help, with my role in media relations, I can ask them, What did we do in the past, what is best practices. They can help me out that way.
I'm also fortunate to work with awesome sports information directors who have been in the RMAC longer than I have, even in the industry. I can always go and reach out to them for support and feedback. They're kind of also mentors to me. That's kind of the way we just share our support system within our office and within our institutions.
KYLE CHILTON: Great. Kimber.
KIMBERLIE HANER: I feel like anybody who has ever hired me throughout my career are people I've been able to look to for support, whether that's finding the next step in my career or where I currently am asking for pointers or what they've done in the past because I've only been at ASU since September.
It's been really good to have people in my office to look to for support. Even people outside of just my office, going to marketing and working with them, seeing what they've done in the past, and the coaches, things like that.
I feel like everybody, athletics in general, is a very supportive environment. I feel like people always want each other to do better, at least in my experience people want each other to do the best that they can.
KYLE CHILTON: Great. Chevonne.
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: You know, for better or for worse, human nature is to be drawn to people that are probably similar to you or like you. Every place I've been, outside of Lead1, we have a very small staff. Every place I've been for the most part I found myself drawn to support staff that look like me, so it's usually women, sometimes minorities.
This position in Lead1, we interact with 130 athletic directors. When I started last year, I found myself looking for a support system through our membership, people have formed relationships with over the years, senior administrators, sports information directors across the country.
It's an adjustment to a new role here, still in communication, but a little bit different from what I was at when I was at a conference office and on campus as well.
But I think saying all that, you can find support systems outside of what you're used to, as well. Even though I'm an African American woman, some of my strongest supporters have been men who have taken me under their wings over the years, older men who have been in the business for a long time.
Definitely (indiscernible) limit you looking for a support system or mentors. I know we'll get into that a little bit later.
KYLE CHILTON: Great, thank you.
How do you support other women, whether it's in your office specifically or throughout the department? Let's go with that.
Chevonne, do you want to start with that?
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: Yeah. I try to be an ear. I have a couple years under my belt now. I've started out entry level, different areas of my career, like everyone else. I think sometimes you have to find relationships outside of the workspace, as well. That helps in being a support system. Because when you get to know someone outside of the workspace, there's limitations, of course. You don't know everything about their family, what they do outside of work, but that helps bridge the gap, you get more comfortable with them.
I try to be an ear. I maybe try to go out sometimes, have a drink with coworkers, have dinner with them or lunch with them, just huddle around the break room with them.
I think sometimes being an ear is another way to build relationships with fellow women in the workspace because some people, if there are issues, some people may not want to vocalize or say anything about it. Depends how comfortable you are with that. If you're just there as a friend, as a support system, just listening, I think that goes a long way.
KYLE CHILTON: Let's go to Emily.
EMILY DORKO: Yeah, the same thing, being an ear. I like to get involved in the onboarding process when we bring in new coaches or administrators. I like to get the opportunity to sit with them in their opening week. It gives them the level of comfortability to ask questions if they're new to the department and campus.
Something we started implementing in the department I think two semesters ago, we have a ladies lunch. All the women in the department, we take it off campus and go out to a nice lunch, which doesn't sit well with all of the men in the department. They want to know why they're not invited. They could have invited us to lunch. We kind of separate ourselves, just keep it casual. We're trying to do a Happy Hour this semester. Just kind of being able to get that one-on-one time or the out-of-the-office time.
I'm fortunate, I have three full-time staff members, two of which are females. We're the only female SID group in the conference. We talk a lot. We like to bounce ideas off each other. Yeah, I think it all goes back to what Chevonne said about being an ear, being able to listen.
KYLE CHILTON: Jaclyn or Kimber, anything you want to add to that?
JACLYN LAM: Just working well together. We like to collaborate on things. We also go out to lunches, do activities outside of lunch. We all went to see Michelle Obama when she came out to Denver, see her speak, talk about her book. It was empowering for all of us women to go together, to see her, talk about what she talked about after the show.
Just being there for each other, you can tell how people are feeling that day, kind of by their emotions or if it's crossover season, they have a lot on their plate. So going in and asking, Hey, are you doing okay? Do you need anything? Do you want to go out to lunch? Do you want to talk about something?
So just being there for each other I think is huge. Then just collaborating, bouncing ideas off each other. Just knowing that we have such a strong support system in the RMAC, not just among the females, but among the males that are also in our office, too.
KIMBERLIE HANER: Yeah, at ASU, they've started -- I don't know how long it's been going, like I said, relatively new to ASU still. They have a Women of Sun Devil Athletics Group. I know they do something every once in a while. They had one a little bit ago, but unfortunately I was out of town for it. I think that's been really good.
I don't know how big the offices where you three all work at, but ASU is very big, so there's quite a large number of women around. It's hard to coordinate schedules and get everybody on the same page. But it's nice to have that option if somebody wants it. It's nice to know that if anybody wants to connect with other women or whatever, that outlet is there.
KYLE CHILTON: This next question, you may not all have experience with this, so those that have, please speak up. But have you ever been in an office where women are the majority, or department, or if there's an even split? How does that compare when you're in the minority?
Does that make sense? Anyone can speak to that? Jaclyn?
JACLYN LAM: My internship year when I was at the RMAC, I was actually part of the minority. So we had two females out of eight, you know, full- and part-time staff members. So the other six were all male.
Now, being a full-time employee, the roles have kind of reversed. 80% of our full-time staff are females. Right now we have, let's see, so four, five females and three males right now. So it's kind of reversed.
I think I've been, you know, fortunate enough that I didn't really see the difference. From having majority of males to now having majority of females, I haven't really seen that difference.
I think it speaks to the fact that we have a really strong office and a really strong group of staff members, regardless of gender. That contributes to the success of our conference and what we do on a daily basis to help our membership.
I'm very fortunate in that way that I've been able to see both sides, be able to work with more females in one part of my career, then more males in another part of my career.
KYLE CHILTON: Anyone else have anything they want to add to that?
KIMBERLIE HANER: I have never been in a majority or even even split in any of my stops along the way, which has been kind of interesting. I've never felt, Oh, there's only two women in this office, what's going on over there? It's never felt weird or anything, but it is something I've noticed. Then kind of connecting to the last question, it is a way for us to support each other and have that connection.
But here there's actually a ton of female interns, which I've kind of noticed along the way that I feel like there kind of have been female interns at other offices. I don't know what happens along the way, whether they just don't want to work in athletics or whether they just haven't found their spot, whatever it may be. I feel like there usually are a lot of female interns, and somewhere along the way they get lost. That's something I've kind of noticed, has been interesting to me.
KYLE CHILTON: We can maybe address that in mentoring later on.
We had a question come in from one of the people listening in. How do you get coaches and staff to respect you as an administrator even though you have as many years of experience as them?
Anyone? Chevonne, you look like you might have something to say on that.
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: Well, yeah, a tough one because here at Lead1, we were just talking about supervision in the administration. When I was at the SWAC I was the supervisor for three sports. It was pretty early in my career. Less than 10 years of experience.
It's kind of hard. I think you just have to spend more time with the coaching staff, and you have to hold your ground and be firm. Just realize you want to be on their side, but it has to be an even playing field, as well, with certain things.
As a sports supervisor, you want to look out for the interests of your student-athletes and your coaches, but you have to walk a fine line.
Hopefully I think over time with communication and being more visible, if you're not already, being at practices, going to games, being around the program more, hopefully they'll be able to build a rapport where some of that interaction is softening.
It's difficult because you may have an administrator, even the seasoned administrator, if you're a basketball administrator with like Coach K, imagine that as opposed to being a sports administrator for a first year or second year head coach. Maybe it depends where you are in your experience.
I think the more time you're around your program, being visible, will work both ways with the relationship. It's such a hard question to answer. It really I think depends on each person involved, the coach and the administrator.
Anyone else been in that type of position before?
EMILY DORKO: Yeah, I mean, again like I said being one of the younger administrators in the department, I think a lot of gaining and earning the respect is not only being around the coaches and the coaching staff and the players, it's a lot about educating.
A lot of the times I get questions from coaches who have been here for a long time. Yes, I'm newer in this role, but I've kind of set the ground level and let them know, This is how I want to do things, this is how I want to run this office. How can we kind of work together best?
Kind of getting them to a point of understanding what you do and how they can be involved is how you're going to get their respect in the long run. If you're on two different pages, you're not really going to get very far.
So I think educating, being kind of open kind of about what you do, how you do it, how you're going to do it, how you're going to run the rest of your staff, you're only going to get them to be comfortable with you and gain your respect.
JACLYN LAM: Going off of what Emily said, being in a conference office, I don't have that much interaction with coaches. Usually I interact with them with all conference or all season awards. Sometimes I'll sit in our coaches' meetings.
For me, in order to gain that respect, also being a new administrator coming into the RMAC, I felt that I had to show that I was organized and that I respected their time. Creating policies and procedures that were efficient so I can get what I need from them, they can go about coaching. I won't bother them again with another email or another email follow-up of what I need from them.
I think just being professional, being efficient and respective of their time, ultimately they respect that of me, that I respect their time, so I think that's important.
KYLE CHILTON: Awesome. I think we're going to move on to our next topic, which is dealing with sexism/harassment in the office or workplace.
First question: How do you define sexism and how do you combat it? Any tactics, strategies or resources that you have found to be helpful?
Anyone want to start with that?
JACLYN LAM: How I define sexism is just discrimination based on gender, a very simple definition. Then some tactics and strategies I would say is just talk to your female coworkers. They have probably -- maybe not probably but might have experienced the same sexism that you might be experiencing. They can kind of talk to you about how they went about it, how they dealed with it internally, then externally who did they talk to.
Then join female groups, like women leaders in college sports. Although it's not just females, but, I mean, there's a large majority of them, and you can kind of connect with them, bounce ideas off each other, work together within the career.
Then just speak up about it. Nothing goes away if you don't talk about it, if you don't be proactive about getting rid of sexism in the workplace or whatever it may be. So just speak up.
KYLE CHILTON: Anyone else? Emily, thoughts on that?
EMILY DORKO: Yeah, I mean, I work as the director of -- externally work a lot in the event space, special events, having alumni back on campus. We employ a lot of our student workers, who half of them are females, half of them are female student-athletes. We've run into a few issues.
It's kind of getting ahead of it or being -- keeping that professionalism when you're talking to alumni or anyone who kind of takes it a little too far, being like, okay, this is how we're going to deal with this. You're either going to accept it and not behave but be better.
I mean, it's so hard because we are females in a male-dominated industry, athletics in general. It's how do we kind of change the perspective. How do we get people to look at us and say, Oh, I respect her because of how she handled that, or I respect her because she kind of brought that to my attention and I didn't even realize it.
It's unfortunate that we have to deal with it. But I think, like Jaclyn said, there are resources and there are groups that we can be a part of and support each other along the way. That's how we can get ideas of how to deal with that kind of stuff. So for now, that's what we can do.
KYLE CHILTON: Chevonne, Kimber? Thoughts?
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: I think it is important to speak up when it happens. Some people may fear the aftereffect, retribution, especially if you're going up against someone that is highly visible in the industry or like a senior administrator.
I think maybe you do talk to someone, but also maybe try to put yourself in the other person's shoes. Some people really don't know they're being sexist in certain times. Maybe it depends -- I mean, we're going to talk about this later, but when I lived in the deep south, it was a little different from being in the northeast. Maybe it's a location issue, too. I don't know.
Some people probably generally mean well and don't know what they're doing. That's why I think it's important to have conversations around it, even if it's not to them directly. If you're introverted, you're probably not going to want to approach somebody and say, That's not fair. Maybe you talk to someone else about it. Those conversations need to be had.
KIMBERLIE HANER: I think it goes back to who we look to for support to be able to have that open dialogue with. If we have that person in our office, whether male or female, and we trust them, feel comfortable with them, then that's definitely something you should bring up if you're feeling uncomfortable or you've noticed a trend that maybe isn't great. Just talking is very important.
KYLE CHILTON: Great. So maybe if anyone is comfortable sharing an experience they've had, or maybe general experiences they've had, how does that affect you when you experience it, whether it's harassment or sexism or anything like that.
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: Well, there were two situations where I was mistaken for an administrator assistant. This is when I was at various conference offices. I think they meant well, they just assumed that. I mean, at the time I just kind of glossed over it and laughed it off.
It did make me feel where do these perceptions come from that you automatically assume maybe a person, a young person, or young woman in general, is an administrator assistant because they work in athletics.
If that happened now, I think I would find a way to address it. Back then I just glossed it over and, Dang, wow, this is still happening in 2010. It's 2019 now, nine years later we're still having these conversations.
KYLE CHILTON: Anyone else?
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: I hope I answered the question. I wanted to give insight.
KYLE CHILTON: That's perfect. You did. You said how it made you feel. I think it's important for everyone to hear that.
JACLYN LAM: I'm sure I've experienced it. Whether I acknowledged it, I don't think that I have. You know, I think about it just fuels my fire even more to want to be more successful, not just compared to everyone else, but for myself and reach my goals.
Not even just sexism, anything, being a minority in sports information and female, like, there's less and less Asians sports information directors. So that kind of fuels my fire, too. It's like, Let's get more people involved. People are more likely to try more things when they see people that look like them in that position. So I think that's what fuels me.
If there is sexism around me, which I'm sure there has been, I can only imagine that it was just something to push me to be better, to prove them wrong, to show them I know what I'm talking about, that I'm where I'm supposed to be, that I am good at my job.
KYLE CHILTON: All right. Anyone else have thoughts on that question?
Okay, we're going to take this next question, combine it with a question that came in. It says, What can men do to combat sexism and support a more inclusive environment? So think about that. Then here is the question that came in. This is a male just getting into the profession, wanting to know if there are differences in the ways a young man can support women in the workplace compared to men who have advanced to higher positions.
So I don't know, anyone want to try to tackle either one or the other or a combination of the two?
EMILY DORKO: I guess, yeah, for the first part of that, how can a young man... I think that goes back to what we talked about in our first topic, the support. So in the same way that we want to support younger females or females in the department, if he's new, he should have no issue going to someone who has been there for a couple years, been there the longest, if they're male or female, just kind of making it known that he's obviously looking to better himself. I think that's something that can be respected across the board.
If you're there to do your job, do it right, get better every day, no one's going to take offense to that or see it some type of way. So, I mean, again, I don't know if I answered the question. But the support level, it doesn't matter if you're male or female.
JACLYN LAM: Yeah, going off what Emily was saying, in talking more about how to support a more inclusive environment, I think it starts by having men listen. There's this thing called man-splaining, I don't know if you ladies have heard of it, but it's typically when a man will interrupt a woman or explain something that that female knows about, but just didn't get the opportunity to express it.
If that male figure could just listen to that, listen to the females, like listen to what they have to say, be patient, don't assume that they don't know about a topic because they might and they might surprise you, they might know more about a topic than you do.
Then have that man, like, ask questions in a non-condescending way, a non-belittling way. Then just be aware that words are powerful. I think although you can kind of vouch for someone and say, I don't think that he really meant that. But in some ways it does mean something to other people. So maybe speaking up about it and saying, Hey, that word means something to me. Having that conversation, that open dialogue to let that person know that that might be offensive to some people and might not be offensive to some people.
Again, just being an ear. I think that's kind of the theme throughout the whole of it, being able to listen to your coworkers and your colleagues, male or female.
KYLE CHILTON: Great.
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: Jaclyn reminded me of something, being a good ally, as you mentioned, is listening, and also probably being proactive in conversations like this.
So last year at the CoSIDA convention, WoSIDA panel about women's issues. There were a lot of men there. I was happy seeing men were there trying to learn more about what women go through in business. Maybe it's being an ally that way, or as Jaclyn said, trying to learn about what affects us, gender as a whole, women in athletics, and in particular sports athletics.
KYLE CHILTON: Kimber, something to add?
KIMBERLIE HANER: I was thinking about how in the past I feel sometimes that, for example, more recently a male graduate assistant has kind of gotten preferential treatment over me, a full-time female employee. Just kind of things like that, kind of checking, like, for the guy who is new, for example, or up-and-coming in the business, just realizing where you are, realizing experiences of people around you, thinking, Is this fair? Is this right? Going back to talking and communicating, being open to different ideas.
KYLE CHILTON: Great. Any other thoughts on that particular topic before we move on? So listen, guys, that's the key: Listen.
Does sexism exist between same-gendered individuals? If so, how do we help people become aware of this? Any thoughts?
JACLYN LAM: This is kind of a tough question for me because personally I don't think that I've experienced it. But I actually talked to one of my coworkers in the office earlier today. She brought up a really good point. I do believe it does exist, first of all. And I think it can exist not just gender-based but race and...
You know, an Asian American versus a Caucasian person. I think that's kind of where it could happen also in terms of same-gender individuals.
KYLE CHILTON: Other thoughts?
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. I've never experienced it, but I heard from friends in the business that have.
But I wanted to see Kyle's thoughts, at least as far as women in the business. On the men's side, do you see that happening with men in the industry? Wondering how that is.
KYLE CHILTON: I think so. I think men, we think we should be a certain way, right? If someone's not acting a certain way or maybe aspiring to certain things, they might be seen as less than or, you know, not living up to what they're supposed to do.
There's actually an interesting question that came in that kind of relates to that, working in men's sports versus women's sports. If they're both basketball teams, some people might see the men's team as being the higher thing. But maybe we can bounce back to that in a sec.
I do think it exists. I think we kind of hold each other down based on certain expectations that we're supposed to be a certain way based on how society defines it or whatever. I think it's good to think about those things, how we treat each other, what we expect from each other, whether it's in the profession or their personalities or characteristics that they might have.
I don't know if that answers your question, but... Those are my thoughts.
KIMBERLIE HANER: That was similar to the thoughts I had, as well, just being stuck in gender stereotypes. Maybe people aren't consciously being -- I don't think anybody is consciously being sexist, but just being stuck in what you think things should be.
Maybe the group of guys in the office will go play golf after work and not really think to invite the female in the office. Or maybe they're playing, like, Fantasy Football or something. Just stereotypical male things, not really thinking about whether you should invite the female. It goes the other way, too. So, just being stuck in those stereotypes is where we can get trapped sometimes.
KYLE CHILTON: That says it way better than I did. Yeah, golf for one thing. I don't golf. A lot of the guys around me do. It's not a big deal. It really doesn't matter. But, like, if you don't do one of those things that you're supposed to do, you might feel like it's holding you back.
Or the other way, if all the guys are going golfing, yeah, are we excluding women in that way because we're doing something that the guys are doing. We all know when you go to lunch with people, when you go golfing together, that's a way to advance your career because you get to know people, get to build relationships. If we're excluding people because of that, that's on us. We need to make sure we're aware of those things, so...
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: That reminds me, shameless plug, WoSIDA, we're having a panel in this very topic, gender and age differences, how to address that in the workspace. I saw a Twitter chat, might have been SID chat, people were chiming in, women were chiming in about some of the perceived -- excuse me, some of the discrimination, stereotypes they get in the workspace.
Some of it is, like, if you're a single woman might be assumed that you have more time to work during off-peak hours, so you might get assigned this versus someone who has a family, when it's not really fair because you have your own time as well. Just because you don't have a family shouldn't assume you have more free time on your hands because you don't have kids, a husband or wife.
We're going to talk about that this summer. Kimber and Kyle brought that up. We're doing more work in WoSIDA to explore why this happens.
KYLE CHILTON: Great.
Any other thoughts on sexism, sexual harassment in the workplace before I move on?
All right. Last topic is mentorship. I think we've sort of touched on some of these things, but there's a lot more we can talk about here.
How have you found mentors throughout your career? Where do you look for them? Kimber, you want to start with this one?
KIMBERLIE HANER: Yeah. So I have found mentors in people, kind of like I mentioned towards the beginning of this, people who have just been willing to help me to do whatever. I started in this profession, I started at BYU actually, and Norma, who works there, she's the women's basketball contact, I met her because I was a student reporter in the newspaper. She said, You should work in our office, you might be really good. I never heard of, like most people, never heard of sports information. Okay, I'll do it.
She's still a mentor to me this day. She helped me get my foot in the door. I just feel like anybody who says, Hey, have you thought about this? You should try this. Those are people who want you to succeed and want you to try new things, better yourself and grow. Those are people you definitely want in your corner.
KYLE CHILTON: Kimber was an awesome intern, by the way. Way to go.
Anyone else on that?
EMILY DORKO: My first job, I was a student-athlete here at Adelphi, my first job was my sophomore year working for sports information. My former boss, when I had got my first job, he actually left this position and went across the way to advancement. That's how I was able to come back in this role.
To this day, I mean, he's not here at the university any more, but I can still call him, and I know he is someone that took a genuine interest in all of the crazy ideas that I had when I was a student, the seven jobs I said I wanted. He said, Okay, how about we focus on one, figure out what path we can take to get to that first one.
I think if you are new in the business or if you are able to mentor someone that is coming to you looking for advice, I think it's one of the most priceless things because that's someone you're going to have, like Kimber said, in your corner throughout your whole journey.
JACLYN LAM: Going off of what both Emily and Kimber said, I also think the connections that you make in college, in high school, staying connected with your college professors who might be your sports management professor, communications, whatever it might be, I think they can be great mentors.
Also, you know, for me, my coworkers, my boss, they've always been mentors throughout my time at the RMAC. Even one I talked about earlier, my sports information director colleagues, whether it's DcSIDA or the sports information directors at my institutions who have been there and have been in the industry a lot longer than I have, I know that I can always go to them for help or for guidance or whatever it may be, and just not working, keeping those connections I think is crucial.
Attending events like the CoSIDA convention where everybody has the same passion. Being around people who share that passion, want to see each other succeed, grow the industry, whatever it may be. Surrounding yourself by those people I think is key to finding a good mentor for your career.
KYLE CHILTON: Great.
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: I found some great mentors through CoSIDA throughout the years. We could start there. There is a mentoring program within the organization, too. I would just say if you're looking for a mentor, remember that people may not be able to get back to you right away, but it doesn't mean they're not interested.
KYLE CHILTON: Good plug for CoSIDA, get involved, right?
Maybe this one could be a real quick one, one or two of you have a quick thought, then we'll move on to the last question. Do you approach different mentors differently depending on their gender? Any quick thoughts on that?
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: I do, unfortunately. Well, I try to keep it -- tailor it to who I'm approaching. If it's a woman and I have a tie with her, I will mention as a fellow woman in the business, I respect everything you've done as a trailblazer, something along those lines, which I think is absolutely worth noting. You should tailor your mentor-seeking introductions to whoever you're approaching.
I definitely know if I'm approaching a woman, I do put an extra spiel on that being a fellow woman in the biz, I definitely do.
KYLE CHILTON: Anyone else have a quick thought on that connection?
JACLYN LAM: I would say that I don't. I think who I approach will depend on their experience, what knowledge I can gain from them, then vice versa, what can I provide them. I think that's kind of what I look for in a mentor, more experience-wise instead of gender-based.
KYLE CHILTON: Last question. We might have another question from the viewers. But what opportunities have you had to act as a mentor? What advice would you give to others who are mentors? Maybe just general advice on being a mentor.
EMILY DORKO: Yeah, I think I've been given an opportunity. I love being at an institution because I love the everyday experiences I get with the student-athletes, both male and female.
But advice for being a mentor? I mean, this past semester, I've done a lot of self-reflection, done a lot of reading, read a lot of books, Rachel Hollis, shameless plug, Girl Wash Your Face: Stop Believing Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Want to Be. I think that's the only way you're going to be able to mentor people the best, is if you understand yourself.
Again, I am young in the business, still starting out. I've got a long way to go. I kind of hope these kinds of things and having these types of conversations will only help me in the long run.
JACLYN LAM: I had a couple of interns that have worked under me. Actually my first year as interim director at the RMAC, I also had an intern. Being able or trying to be a mentor and a leader for that intern while I'm trying to figure out my job and what I'm supposed to be doing was difficult.
That also gave me experience for me to be comfortable in my knowledge, my abilities and be kind of that mentor, that leader for that intern. It helped me grow. It helped me become stronger and more confident in what I can do.
I was kind of just going off of what Emily was saying, that get to know yourself, be confident in yourself, mentorship will kind of come with it I think. Being able to share your experiences, you know, give advice that has helped you, not necessarily say that, This is how I got here, you have to do the same. Like, that's not true because everyone has different journeys and different ways of coming to the same goal, that same end point.
Just kind of sharing your experiences, what's worked for you in certain situations I think is beneficial. I would say that's the biggest advice that I could give mentors currently, is just share your experiences, like you're making an impact and your words are powerful.
KYLE CHILTON: Chevonne, any thoughts on that one?
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: It was all well-said. I think it's important, what we talked about, share experiences. But also maybe as a mentor, you give out best practices. It's not always the stuff you want to hear. Maybe it's tough love, you know.
But you could just step in that person's shoes, realize your mentee may not be a college student, a mentee may be someone a few years younger than that or maybe it's someone that's new to the athletics department and they need some onboarding.
The main thing is having an open line of communication, I think. As long as you're on good terms, you should be able to share anything with them. But it was all well-said by everyone else, so I don't really have much to add.
I love helping people in general. I think we need to do more of that. I think we do a good job of that within CoSIDA.
KYLE CHILTON: We have one question, real quick, then wrap-up, from the viewers.
Do women need more female or male mentors? Anyone want to tackle that one real quick, then we'll wrap-up? Does it matter? Representation is obviously important, but any thoughts on that?
JACLYN LAM: I think representation is important, to have more females in the sports industry, specifically in sports information. I think it goes back to my previous answer. I look for the experience that that person has, not necessarily their gender.
So for me personally, I don't think there necessarily needs to be more or less female mentors. But, you know, just more people with those experiences that I can learn from, whatever it may be, so...
I know that might not be a thing for everyone else.
KIMBERLIE HANER: Well, I was thinking about that question because I think the answer is yes, because we need more females in the industry. So when we have more females in the industry, then automatically there are more female mentors.
Whoever people choose to be their mentors, great, whether male or female. But I think as long as that number continues to grow of females in the industry, then I think it will all be more helpful to everybody.
I'm going back to my point that I brought up towards the beginning of female interns kind of dropping off. I think if they see more females around them in the workspace, then maybe they will think more positively about this career, maybe they think, Oh, I do want to do this. So and so is there. Jaclyn is there. Wow, I can do this.
KYLE CHILTON: Great. We have one question that was posted twice, so it must be important. If one of you could give your thoughts on that. How is your perspective on some of these issues changed as you have grown in your career and as people? When you started as a professional, you thought being a working woman in athletics was going to be a certain way. How has it changed? How has your perspective changed on that?
CHEVONNE MANSFIELD: I think we're getting better with being intentional about diversifying sports information, bringing more women and ethnic minorities in.
My perception when I first started out would be that it would be a hard industry to work in. I mean, I loved it. I thought it would be hard to assimilate. But it's not. It hasn't been. For me personally it hasn't been to assimilate.
What I'm noticing is it was easy to get in on the entry level position, but to get to the mid level and senior level might be a little bit harder. I noticed the mid level is a little bit harder to break out of and get to the senior role. That could be for everybody across the board, not just women. I'm not so sure.
I've had discussions with people about women in the business dropping off around their mid 30s and 40s. Might coincide with family time or having families. I'm not so sure. Or the time demands of our industry. That's something I didn't really pay attention to when I first started out, all those moving parts.
KYLE CHILTON: I think we're about out of time. Thank you, Emily, Kimber, Chevonne and Jaclyn for a great session today. We look forward to having you join us in May for our next webinars. Thank you for joining us and have a great day. Good luck with the rest of the spring seasons.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports