How Gartner’s Dominique Ellington Helped Seann Hendrickson Find Her Voice 

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Mentoring is a cornerstone of career advancement. According to data, 87 percent of mentors and mentees say their mentoring relationship empowers them. Considering Black professionals face inequity in the workplace, including microaggressions, discrimination, and more, accessing a support network has proven to be a viable solution to addressing these issues.

Since our beginning, BYP Network has been on a mission to connect many members with compatible professionals who can offer the guidance and feedback they need to be effective and develop throughout their careers. Our Mentorship programme goes beyond diversity quotas to deliver direct access to top corporate executives to Black professionals. 

During our latest session, we joined forces with Gartner’s human resources partner, Dominique Ellington, MBA, who mentored Seann Hendrickson. During our candid conversation, learn how each benefited from the experience, their key takeaways, and more. 

Read the discussion

BYP: Why did both of you join our Mentoring Programme?

Dominique: I have had amazing mentors and sponsors as a part of my career journey, so it would be amazing to impact someone along their career journey.

Seann: I wanted to connect with someone in HR with a similar banking background. Being able to communicate with someone with similar backgrounds was key, and that’s one of the great things BYP really enabled me to connect with a brilliant mentor.

BYP: Seann, what career challenges did you face before your mentorship?

Seann: My career has predominantly been in banking, and I felt it needed to be more stable in my current role. I wanted a mentor to take me outside of my box and someone who would make me think differently about how I approach aspects of my career and personal branding.

BYP: How did you structure your mentorship sessions? 

Dominique: We started with brief introductions, and then I began to ask her to define her strengths and areas of opportunities. We discussed her goals and kept those things at the forefront in most sessions. I wanted Seann to embrace her strengths and decide how to build upon them. Sometimes the goals shifted, and they have evolved, but it’s been great to see that and see her keep them at the top of her mind. 

Seann: The first initial call was absolutely brilliant for me because Dominique set the standard for providing me with a development plan, and it really got me thinking. Last year I accomplished the majority of my goals. It got me thinking about how to set and achieve a goal, which I needed to do. Having a mentor that gave me some structure really helped me. 

BYP: Seann, could you apply your learnings along your journey?

Seann: As a woman, I appreciate and value having another woman as a mentor. It’s all good and well having a man mentor you, but there is a connection with having a woman. Having Dominique mentor me opened my eyes to how I must broaden my horizon and stand up for myself. That was something that I wasn’t doing, and people are starting to notice the difference. 

Dominique: Even though I am the one mentoring, I got some value out of it, and it prompted me to rearrange my development plan and to make sure my goals are front and center too. It helped me to further advocate for myself and my current role and try to move the needle. 

BYP: Do you two still stay connected? If so, how?

Dominique: We’re still carrying on. I am happy to support you. Working with Seann has been so amazing, and I’ve seen so much growth and development in her and within myself.

BYP: What is your most valuable takeaway from the mentorship?

Dominique: It’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to mentoring. I grew in mentorship because I approached it through a different lens than before. After all, it was led by the mentee, applying some form of structure but also allowing fluidity, and it’s helpful for the leaders I support daily. 

Seann: I felt I was the only one who had been in a career and wanted to move and not being able to but after connecting with Dominique and us having similar backgrounds, that helped. The key takeaway was the development plan. I was surprised to have the first call and for her to give me a development plan, and then it progressed from there. 

Learn more about BYP’s Mentorship programme and how you can join.

View latest job vacancies at Gartner on BYP’s job board

Read more on how Gartner’s Associates make an impact through mentoring.

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