My return to Oliver Wyman after years in industry was actually an idea instilled in me by a mentor of mine. And he not only advised it, he put in the work to help me, by introducing and promoting me within Oliver Wyman. After him, a Partner in my current practice reached out to me. It wasn’t a surface level politeness either—he really took the time to get to know me as a person and then sponsored me!
But, I’m not only a grateful mentee, I’m a very passionate mentor myself. Mentoring is an excellent opportunity to help others forge a path forward in their lives. To really listen to understand what they are striving towards, and then helping them follow through on these goals. Sometimes, especially in the case of women, this involves creating new avenues to guarantee success. But, this hard work won’t just benefit the mentee; these paths are then open to future generations of women.
The culture of Oliver Wyman—the conscious and intentional approach to inclusivity and diversity in leadership and putting in the hard work that it takes to make it happen—really helps promote not only gender, but intersectional equality. After all, it’s not enough to just “want’ those things. And I am happy to support and be a part of this culture.
Engagement Manager, Boston
There's no guarantee that your first firm-assigned career advisor becomes a true mentor, but I was very fortunate that mine did. He invested the time to really get to know me—both professionally and personally. He always encouraged me to be my confident, unique self at work. His commitment to family and life outside the office made a lasting impression on how I approach work-life balance. He fought for me when I needed an advocate, helping me feel like my voice mattered.
Now being a mentor myself—formally and informally—is one of the most rewarding roles I have at Oliver Wyman. I feel like it's my duty to pass along the advice I've received to the next generation of consultants. I try to lead by example by bringing my whole self to work; I empower others by encouraging them to speak up and ask for what they want.
Senior Consultant, Singapore
My mentor Barbara Hoffer is a huge reason why I have felt empowered at work.
My relationship with Barbara began when we were put in touch the night before my final interview. She reaffirmed my decision to move from the United States to Singapore, which I had been worried about. From the get-go, Barbara encouraged me as a person, not just a colleague. She urged me to bring my whole self to work, which is an ethos I’ve stuck with since. I’ve embraced and allowed myself to be vulnerable in the workplace—I’ve laughed a lot, I’ve cried a lot.
Through these experiences, Barbara has helped me better anchor myself. Thanks to her, I’ve been able to look at my experiences from different perspectives, both in and outside of Oliver Wyman. It has been empowering watching both of us grow so much in the past few years. Her mentorship and friendship has made Oliver Wyman a special place for me—where I feel I truly can be me.
Principal, San Francisco
Because of their example, I feel that I have been able to be a good mentor to my own mentees. To genuinely help someone, you need to care about them and truly listen to what they are telling you. Otherwise, sharing your perspectives and values won’t really address their situation or needs. And I care deeply about my colleagues, and I think these relationships have helped empower them, me, and many others across the firm.
As a Principal at Oliver Wyman, I have had the opportunity to mentor many of my colleagues basically every day. But every mentor also needs its own mentors. I have a couple of really strong mentors that have empowered me for many years. They have encouraged me to think bigger and cheered me on to take more risk. Their advocacy and advice have helped shape not only a lot of career growth, but personal as well. Not only that, these mentorships have also made me feel that I am part of a larger community that cares about gender equality, as they have addressed gendered issues as well.
Executive Director of Enterprise Architecture and Delivery, New York
Mentors helped me determine what I did exceptionally well, what set me apart, and what needed more work from me. Honesty was the basis of my mentoring relationships. At times, that meant that I received advice that I did not want to hear, but absolutely needed to hear. Additionally, having mentors by my side providing feedback on my plan to get to the next stage in my career has been a game changer. They taught me to dream big and work to get there.
I think the mentoring culture at Oliver Wyman has promoted gender inclusion by creating change agents and allies capable of questioning the status quo and making a sustained, visible, and measurable change in the workplace experience.
I have been extremely fortunate to have exceptional mentors at Oliver Wyman. The support from my mentors has empowered me to make bolder choices and take on stretch opportunities that I would normally not have chosen. Being mentored has helped me self-reflect; for me, that was a very powerful growth experience.
Throughout my career I have mentored many women with different roles, levels of seniority, profiles, and personalities. I have noticed that while they are all extremely competent, many have an underlying lack of confidence. I have worked to boost their self-confidence in order to help them shine and reach their full potential. A lot of this involves advice around how to reflect within themselves, so that they can see their strengths and unique qualities. I help them consider their current environment to gain more perspective on what they need to develop, what they really want, and how to achieve these goals.
It is a joy to see so many women grow into their best-selves. I always do my best to enable them to reach their goals, and I always learn and take away many lessons from the experiences myself.
Wei Ying Cheah
As the APR partner sponsor for WOW (Women Of Oliver Wyman) and Men4Change, I have had many opportunities to provide mentorship across APR, for both consultants and internal staff.
On a firm-level, I am happy to have hosted many events in Singapore to increase awareness about “unconscious bias” (biases that people may not realize they have about different cultures, societal expectations, or gender, etc.) and breakthrough them. Many of those who have attended have expressed to me personally that they not only learned a lot, but that it would create a change in their behavior.
On a more personal level, I am an official CDA (Career Development Advisor) to five mentees and an unofficial mentor to another 20+ consultants across my projects. I am honored that my mentees trust me enough to share their concerns and listen to my advice. It’s been extremely rewarding to everyone’s growth, especially when I see how they tackle unconscious bias and make not only Oliver Wyman, but their worlds more empathetic and equal places.
Senior Analyst, Oliver Wyman Forum, New York
When I joined Oliver Wyman, I was thrilled to be joining a team led by Ana Kreacic, a C-suite executive who is a woman that actively promotes and encourages other women. This is why it means so much to me that we’ve been meeting periodically to discuss life and career development over the past year. It makes me feel welcome, empowered, and more self-confident as I continue my trajectory at Oliver Wyman.
Ana’s mentorship helps me blossom into, as she describes it, “my own style of leadership.” She pushes me to bring more and more of myself to work each day. My talks with Ana help me see my talents and interests in a new light: as assets and strengths in my career.
In a word, I’m stronger as a result of her mentorship.
Senior Internal Communications Associate, Dubai
Several years ago, I started at Oliver Wyman as an intern. During this, I had the opportunity to interview a senior female leader. I had originally introduced myself by pronouncing my name “the Western way,” instead of in Arabic, because I thought it would be easier. To my surprise, she asked me to teach her the real way to pronounce my name, rather than change my name to make it easier on others.
While this may seem minor, to me it was incredibly powerful. It empowered me to speak up more at work, because it was a reminder that my background and knowledge are unique, an asset to the firm.
Like many before me have said, and likely many after: having a child was a lifechanging moment for me. Among many of my realizations at the time, I also came to the profound conclusion that being a working mother was hard. Very hard. But it was also doable. With the right resources and support, of course. I began mentoring to make sure that other women had a role model and the ability to speak with someone frankly when they were thinking of starting a family.
With that, I began to mentor women in my practice: Health and Life Sciences. I mentor around 30 people now, even those who have left the firm. Because the focus is on the individual, it ends up transcending work. That is how you truly support and help someone achieve their full potential.
So, the most important advice I have given my mentees is: advocate for yourself. And learn to be comfortable doing so. As people change and grow based on this advice, it also helps shape a more inclusive and equal world.
Senior Consultant, Berlin
In 2019, the Berlin office started an initiative called the WOW Council—a safe space where all women in the office can discuss issues that impact our daily lives, be it work-related or private. While this isn’t the “classic” one-on-one mentoring program, this collective approach had an incredibly positive impact on me. I have access to a well-trusted support network comprised of many different women who understand my work and my experiences. It makes me feel not alone in the situations I face.
Being a woman in a man’s world brings a variety of unique challenges. The situations we discussed in the council tackle the full spectrum of these, from how to assert oneself in an environment that rewards behaviors that are stereotypically attributed to men to how to balance the expectations from our families and the job. This “crowdsourcing” allows us to build a community of women who actively empower one another to be the best versions of ourselves.
The WOW council has helped me immensely, especially in situations where my male colleagues could not fully relate to the experiences I had and their impact on me. It also allowed me to reflect situations, behaviors, and incidences, and put them into perspective. Most importantly, however, it allowed me to get actionable ideas and proposals that I can (and did) implement in my everyday life. This has made me a better consultant and colleague, and a more self-confident person overall.
Director, Organizational Effectiveness, London
Moments to mentor and coach come up every day in my role, via interactions with clients, peers, and team members. These interactions provide opportunities for stretch and growth for both parties. Sometimes it’s serendipity and being in the ‘right place at the right time’ to help or be helped, sometimes it’s an ongoing process or coaching skills development.
Mentoring for me is about support and assistance—helping people to think, feel, and build confidence, as they develop professional muscle and skills. It does not mean providing all the answers! It’s helping to clarify the outcomes required, where they’re at in the process, and how to move forward, building from the strengths that are in place, which is hugely empowering.
Like all the brilliant and powerful women at Oliver Wyman, I’m hopefully contributing to the journey in what I do and how I show up every day. We need women across the breadth and depth of business environments. Particularly, we need greater agency at the top with clear pathways to get there when starting out: if you can see it, you can be it.