- More than half (53%) of Scottish women in business feel their careers have been held back by a lack of opportunities to be mentored
- Demand is high with over eight in ten (82%) of women in business likely to ask for mentoring support
- However, almost half (49%) of women in business feel that that finding the right mentor is too difficult
Royal Bank of Scotland has partnered with online mentoring platform Digital Boost Upskilling to launch a new, free to use, mentor matchmaking service designed for the needs of the next generation of Scottish women in business.
Known as MentorMatch, the new service is being developed in response to research which has revealed that more than half (53%) of female business owners in Scotland feel that a lack of opportunities to be mentored has prevented them from progressing in their career, holding back the Scottish and UK economy.
The latest findings follow the Rose Review, conducted by NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose which identified that a potential £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men.
The demand for effective mentoring programs to empower tomorrow's leaders to reach their full potential is clear as the study showed that more than eight in ten (82%) of female business leaders are likely to ask for mentoring support.
Digital Boost analysis indicates that the most in-demand areas of support focus on digital skill development as the top three most common topics of support requested by female founders are “Business Strategy”, “Content Creation and Strategy” and “Digital Marketing Strategy”.
However, there are significant barriers in place when it comes to effective mentoring in a modern environment. Almost half (47%) of female business leaders feel that mentoring is too formal a process, while another 49% reported that finding the right mentor is too difficult.
Royal Bank MentorMatch is designed to break the formality around mentoring and help women overcome the difficulty of both finding the right mentor for them and becoming a mentor to others by facilitating instant connections. The online platform will provide access to personalised guidance tailored to specific business challenges through its easy-to-use online & mobile service.
The platform will launch during a first-of-its-kind event taking place at one of Glasgow's freshest new venues, The Haberdashery hosted by Scottish media personality, Amy Irons. Amy will be joined on stage by a collective of Scotland’s most exciting and inspirational entrepreneurs and women in business for a morning of networking, connection, and open conversation.
On the opposite side of the issue, the research also found that while there is a lack of mentoring options available for the next generation, current Scottish women business leaders are finding it difficult to view themselves as mentors for others, despite starting and scaling successful organisations. More than a quarter of female business leaders (29%) have a fear of advising incorrectly, whilst almost one in five (18%) aren't mentoring due to imposter syndrome.
As part of its ‘Tomorrow Begins Today’ campaign which encourages people to take the first small actionable steps towards their future today, Royal Bank is committed to supporting the next generation of Scottish women in business and making mentorship and personalised support easily available to all.
Judith Cruickshank, Chair of the Scotland Board at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: "Royal Bank of Scotland has a long and proud tradition of supporting women in business. Today’s launch will provide another important offering within our solutions to empower women to unleash their full potential and achieve their goals.
We are deeply committed to Scotland and its vibrant business community. When one of us succeeds, we all do. We recognise the unique challenges that women in Scotland face, and we are determined to be part of the solution, helping to build a more equitable, prosperous, and sustainable future for Scotland."
Karen Licurse, Managing Director, Digital Boost Upskilling, said: “We know that mentorship has the power to unlock the potential of countless women in business, helping them to grow and ultimately, thrive. But the reality is that old school approaches to mentorship can be outdated, and often not suitable to the modern workforce.
“Our purpose is simple – we want to strip mentorship back to its core and easily connect people to the personalised support they need, while also encouraging more people to become mentors. This new platform will reshape what mentoring means to Scotland’s female business community and Royal Bank of Scotland, with its marked experience of supporting women in enterprise, is the perfect partner to make it happen.”
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Notes to Editors
Source: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from Censuswide. Total sample size was 455 business owners aged 18+ in Scotland, ensuring more than 100 Male and 100 Female respondents. Fieldwork was undertaken between 15th – 21st March 2023. The survey was carried out online. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.
About the Royal Bank of Scotland
Royal Bank of Scotland has paved the way in banking ever since it was established in 1727. From the world’s first overdraft and the first house purchase loan by a UK bank to the first fully-fledged internet banking service and mobile banking app, the bank has a history of making life easier for its customers. Across Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland has teams offering customers the support and the skills to make the most of online and mobile banking.