“I think everyone is a mentor,” says Tammy Tecklenburg, principal, Tecklenburg Advisors. “We all have experiences and different opportunities to share. Someone who has been in the industry for four years could certainly mentor someone who has been in the industry for four months. I think we all have something to offer. We can be a mentor and a mentee and make sure you are supporting both ends.”
Mentorship is something Tecklenburg has always been passionate about, she says. Not only was it the subject of the final paper she wrote while earning her Automotive Aftermarket Professional designation from the University of the Aftermarket, it also has been the torch she has carried throughout her career and allowed her to leave behind a significant legacy as she closed out her tenure as president of Women in Auto Care this past February.
“Along my journey I had lots of male mentors but never an executive female mentor. I always felt like something was missing,” Tecklenburg says. “It wasn’t until I attended my first Women in Auto Care meeting 10 years ago that it clicked. You look around the room and you realize it’s you – it’s now your responsibility to lift up the next generation of women.
“Inspired by opportunities we face as an industry, including lack of female role models, an aging work force, the technician shortage, gender pay gap and the overall drop-out rate, we have created a ripple to close those gaps through connecting, empowering and mentoring,” says Tecklenburg.
At the Women in Auto Care annual conference in February, Tecklenburg announced the launch of a new digital mentorship platform that was a passion project many years in the making.
“When we launched our mentor program in 2014 it was an idea that I had floated and presented over a course of years and we really came together as a team,” she says. “As we grew, we started looking at different platforms to be able to be able to streamline the process and digitize it, to make it based on information and algorithms to help come up with a list of potential matches for mentors and mentees.”
Another Women in Auto Care member, Jody DeVere, told Tecklenburg about an organization called eMentorConnect and everything started to fall into place.
“This was something that fell in my lap over the summer,” she says. “We found the funding for it, we went out and got sponsors and figured out how we were going to pay for it. Our teams worked fast and furiously to get it launched and be able to talk about it at the conference in February and then incoming chair Olivia Newton recently rolled it out to membership.
“My parting gift to them was the eMentor Connect contract. It was really exciting for us and felt like it came full-circle for me,” Tecklenburg says.
At press time, Women in Auto Care was officially rolling out eMentorConnect to its membership. Any woman who is employed by a company that is a member of the Auto Care Association is eligible to be a Women in Auto Care member and participate in the mentoring program. See details below:
Women in Auto Care has partnered with eMentorConnect to bring mentoring to more members through the launch of their exclusive online mentorship platform in 2020.
Here are a couple reasons mentoring matters:
• Career mentoring is most associated with career success;
• Professionals with mentors earn more; and
• 75% of Fortune 500 executives cite mentoring as being key to career success.
The Women in Auto Care Mentorship Program allows mentees and mentors to match on specific development criteria to build relationships that contribute to both parties’ growth.
To learn more about Women in Auto Care and the eMentorConnect Program, visit: autocare.org/women-in-auto-care.