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Mentorship doesn’t come easy to many leaders, but it does for Tammy Nyman.
The executive vice-president at MBC Managed IT Services, and this year’s Mentor of the Year, has dedicated a lot of time to helping her colleagues advance their own careers.
“When I think about mentorship, it’s not something that that you say ‘I need to do this, this, and this to be a mentor.’ You just sort of do it. It’s just sort of the person that you are,” said Nyman in an interview.
The impact mentors try to have on people is not just the product of one person’s assistance, but many influential people along the journey of a career, and each of those people are extremely important in their own way. Her own career reflects this, indicated Nyman.
“My career hasn’t been shaped by just 1 or 2 people, however, it’s been influenced by a variety of people; whether it was people that I have worked with, partners or even my family,” explained Nyman. “My most memorable mentor was at my first job in advertising. She shaped the way I behave in an organization and demonstrated the importance of customer satisfaction and showed me that regardless of your hierarchy in an organization we are a team and her goal as a manager was to help me succeed so the team succeeds. This was my biggest lesson and shaped the way I managed years later. In order to be a good mentor to others, it’s important to build trust, share your experiences and remember what it was like to be in their shoes and pay it forward.”
The IT industry has historically been a tough one to break into for women, especially in leadership positions. Nyman said she has experienced those struggles and hopes to help other women overcome the same issues. But a lot hinges on the individual following their passion and finding the right company with the right culture.
“It definitely can be tough, but at the end of the day, it’s so important to just stick to what you’re passionate about,” said Nyman. “So I think as a woman going into it, what’s really important when you’re looking to work at an IT company is looking at the culture.”