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Meet the Irish woman changing the game for women worldwide



Have you ever dreamed of having a Mentor? A person that would come in to your life, with all the knowledge you need in order to grow professionally? Having reached success in their own lives, they know the pitfalls of starting a business or growing a career and they can help you avoid those mistakes. Mentors who know who to connect with, what tools you'll need in your arsenal, how to approach situations and how to get guaranteed results- because they've been there themselves.


But, just like the famous riddle of the doctor and their son* - were you imagining a man when I said "Mentor"? Many do. It's not a negative assumption to make: many of the people in powerful positions are men. When we think of meeting a Mentor over lunch you might be thinking about Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey in The Wolf of Wall Street. And if you did want to connect with the most powerful person as your Mentor why wouldn't it be a man, at the top of his profession?


*A father and son have a car accident and are both badly hurt. They are both taken to separate hospitals. When the boy is taken in for an operation, the surgeon (doctor) says 'I can not do the surgery because this is my son'. How is this possible?


Well, that's not what Katie Doyle thinks. The founder of Mentor Her: a company that supports women through connection by matching female-only Mentors and Mentees in entrepreneurship, career and corporate and self-development. It's obviously not what the company's Mentors think either, who include hundreds of women worldwide hailing from c-suite positions in large multinationals (Intel, Facebook, Hubspot), known entrepreneurs like Nicki Hoyne and up-and-coming women in the coaching spheres.


The company believes that the women at the top of the ladder want and need to help other women up behind them- but how do they find one another?

Mentor Her runs a six-week-program five times a year connecting female Mentors and Mentees in entrepreneurship, career and corporate and self-development. Mentees and Mentors meet for one hour every week, supported by weekly program material, online networking Zoom calls, workshops and Q&As with high-profile women and soon to be in-person events.


Katie Doyle started Mentor Her after realizing there was no platform to connect with a female Mentor, having desperately needed one herself years before for her first business.

With just an English Literature and Film degree from UCD under her belt, and her only work experience having been pouring beers in Thailand and cleaning toilets in France, Katie decided to start her own business in 2017 after three years travelling around the world. At the tender age of 23, Katie began negotiations to get a license to trade from the Commission of Aviation Regulation in Ireland- an almost insurmountable task for anyone that's been through it. A year later, having got the license and launching her travel agency Capture Travel the business really didn't take off the way she had planned for it to. It was her mother that suggested finding a Mentor online, "there must be loads of woman out there who would love to help you, you won't know until you ask.".

But a shy, young and inexperienced Katie- despite gaining a few LinkedIn connection requests, was met with silence every time she approached a possible Mentor for herself or her business. A year passed, and the business trundled along, desperate for customers- Katie made a lot of sales and marketing mistakes (spending a lot of time and a lot more money) without guidance. But to her relief, the business finally took off at the end of 2019- turning six figures two months in a row and everything felt like it had finally paid off. At the start of 2020, things were going swimmingly- happy group trips around the world, five-star reviews and money in the bank and then..... Covid.


The travel industry was suddenly decimated. Katie found herself having to refund thousands worth of payments to customers who had booked Summer '20 trips from the year before, arguing with airlines and hotel suppliers about deposits- her world was suddenly turned upside down. Then, after the chaos, there was quiet. The refunds were issued, but the bookings had stopped coming in. And Katie found her days empty, sat at home during lockdown in Ireland- scrolling through Instagram and waiting for the world to come back to normal.

Then, she started to see one person who- during lockdown and laid of their job- decided to start a business. Then another, and another. "It's something I always wanted to do, and Covid has given me the time to do it," was the general sentiment. Then others- women who realised they were in the wrong career trajectory and were doing online classes to upskill and move industries. Women who wanted to get back into the workforce after having kids. Women who were looking at their lives, re-evaluating their situations and making pivots to move forward and not remain stagnant.

And Katie started thinking- well, they're going to need a Mentor.





She remembers the morning it happened. Her boyfriend was just getting into the shower and she was scrolling through her phone in bed- it was lockdown, there was no need to get up most days. Having wrestled with the idea for weeks of whether or not she would reach out to a friends' friend who was starting a business because she thought she could be the perfect Mentor, she realised she was too shy (or might come off as too weird). Maybe someone else- was the thought that drove her to look online for a platform to connect with another Mentee. But nothing exciting came up from search results. But there must be a business, she thought, called "Mentor Her"- but there was not. The only results bringing up a similarly named business that was US-based and seemed inactive. She toyed around with the idea, looked up two domains- www.mentorher.ie and www.mentorher.global- both were free. I needed a Mentor then, I want to be a Mentor now. Her boyfriend was out of the shower, opening the bathroom door- "I'm starting a new business," she announced drastically, "I'm going to call it 'Mentor Her'."



The company was formed, the website designed by Katie herself, and the program launched for September 2020. Back then, she thought it was going to be a side-project, something to do alongside her first business, once the travel industry came back online. But then women started joining as Mentors- lots of women. And then women joined as Mentees and before she knew it there was just under two hundred women on a program in September 2020. After asking six of these first Mentors to come on as Mentor Her's advisory panel, Mentor Her launched a corporate program in November 2020 and opened their website to worldwide visitors in April 2022.

Two years later, finally out of Covid, the program that the company runs has matched over a thousand women, has helped just under 200 women start new businesses and gain promotions.


The company is going from strength to strength, beginning a seed funding round in the next few months and gaining four employees. Run day to day by the team of four, Mentor Her has hosted Mentor matches from Ireland to Shanghai, New York to Mexico City and Vancouver to Sydney. The company is award-winning (most recently at the Intertrade Ireland awards), has five star reviews online and has most recently been featured in Forbes

Find out more today at www.mentorher.global


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