Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey, Meryl Streep and Viola Davis, Janet Mock and Ryan Murphy … there’s nothing quite like the relationship between a mentor and their mentee.
“I think [Ryan] saw himself in me,” “Janet Mock, director and executive producer of "Posem" said at WrapWomen’s BE Conference. “He was able to share his experience as a trailblazer, as an out gay man, coming into this industry.” Although his success wasn’t overnight, Murphy used his platform and influence to mentor “outsiders” -- like Mock -– and give them access to the industry.
“I believe that’s one of the most important things we do is mentor and to lift up the next generation of artists,” “Grace & Frankie” showrunner Marta Kauffman added. “My job is to raise up the assistants, writer’s assistants and young writers and to give them their voice.”
Whether you’re a seasoned executive with wisdom to share or a mailroom intern looking for guidance, finding someone to climb the ladder of success with can be difficult … especially if it involves gaining access to the industry’s elite.
For this reason, WrapWomen and Adobe teamed up to host the BE Conference Mentorship Program, where attendees had the opportunity to join a video call with an industry leader. During the sessions, each mentor was paired with between two and six attendees for a one-hour video call where mentees had the opportunity to ask questions, get advice and meet fellow attendees with similar interests. Topics ranged from writing, directing and producing to climbing the corporate ladder, building your brand, navigating work-life balance and more.
This year’s mentors included producers Ty Stiklorius (“La La Land”), Stacey Sher (“Mrs. America”) and Jill Condon (“Friends”); actors Laura Benanti (“Younger”), Elisa Donovan (“Clueless”) and Genevieve Padalecki (“Walker, Texas Ranger”); accountability coach Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave; entrepreneur Asia Hall and “The Ladygang” host Becca Tobin -- just to name a few.
“It was an incredible opportunity to talk to one of my favorite reality TV stars in an intimate setting,” mentee Jamie M. said. “Teddi spoke one-on-one with each one of us. We talked about the crossroads we’re facing in our lives and she shared personable, tangible advice. I really enjoyed learning more about Teddi beyond what we see on TV. It was an amazing experience!”
“I loved how the mentors not only offered insights into their career but were also extra kind in making sure we felt seen and heard,” mentee Riji R. added. “We even exchanged emails at the end and continue to stay in touch.”
Mentors also found value in the sessions as well. “Life doesn’t always go as planned, and I am so fortunate to be on the wild journey I’m on right now,” mentor and fashion designer Elle B. Mambetov said. "It was so lovely to be able to speak to a group of women who have dreams of their own, and encourage each of them in their own journey towards greatness."
Adobe is committed to supporting the creative community and empowering the next generation of creators through initiatives such as the Adobe Diverse Voices, Adobe Creative Residency and Women Create Wednesday.
The BE Conference is comprised of three days of mentorship, education and career-building workshops by the most influential women in media and entertainment, WrapWomen. For more information visit: www.thewrap.com/be-conference-2021