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Role Models and Mentors

Role Models and Mentors

Written by James Osborne

Last edited May 5, 2023

Role Models and Mentors

Role models and mentors can come in all shapes and sizes. They could be individuals with a high profile, a high flyer in business, a celebrity and they could also be a friend or a family member. Role models can come in all shapes and sizes. They could be individuals with a high profile, a high flyer in business, a celebrity and they could also be a friend or a family member. Either way it comes down to what that person is like, their values and usually their achievements that attracts people to consider them to be a role model.

Even if you don’t have a particular role model as such you will more than likely know the qualities that you would admire in one. Deciding this is very personal and everyone is different in what they would look for or aspire to be like.

Corporate Role Models

Many of us look up to well-known entrepreneurs, either who we see in the news today or from history, the kind of people that rose from nothing to make billions. Some popular role models who are or have been in the public eye as a result of their business achievements are:

Richard Branson- Virgin “If your dreams don’t scare you they are too small”

Henry Ford- Ford Motor Company“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

Andrew Carnegie- Carnegie Steel “No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”

Warren Buffett- Berkshire Hathaway“It’s better to hang out with people better than you. Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift in that direction.”

Karren Brady- Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge CBE (also from BBC TV show The Apprentice) “You can’t determine where you start in life, but you can determine where you end up”

Role Models Closer to Home

Sometimes people look closer to home, or work when looking for a career role model. Having someone to look up to in the form of your manager or even higher up the hierarchal ladder can be exactly what someone is looking for. Seeing them in action means that you can get to know them better than you ever could a celebrity status role model.

Qualities you may look for in a career role model:

• How they treat other people

• Values that they stick to- e.g- never settle, always look to improve things

• Remembering names and back stories

• Business achievements- e.g- growing a business

• Determination

• Loyalty

• Passion for what they do

Mentors within business

The transition from role model to mentor seems a logical one. Someone who is role model material, who people look up to and aspire to follow in their footsteps, would make the perfect mentor. The ability to help those individuals looking for support, who are up and coming or who are still early in their careers, is a great opportunity for mentors to give something back.


Following our Women in Recruitment roundtable back in December 2017 we identified there was a lack of female role models and mentors within the recruitment industry. This is a broad statement and does depend on sectors that the companies recruit in.

There does tend to be however more women in sectors like Education and Fashion, whereas sectors like IT, Construction and Engineering are desperately lacking in female talent, through all levels. There are schemes in place to try to bring more women into these industries, but not as many to build women up. We want to change this for the recruitment industry.

We will soon be launching a mentoring programme for women in recruitment to match them with a mentor to encourage them and better equip them to progress up through the hierarchal ladder at work. We hope that as these women develop in their careers they will inspire the next generation of women coming into recruitment, so keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks, we’d love for you to be involved.

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