Female Mentors at Rosewood

Female Mentorship in Marketing

In 2019 McKinsey found that for every 100 men promoted, only 72 women were. In 2021, that number has increased to 86. Women’s professional success increased for one main reason: female mentorship.

Mentors are important in any profession. They provide their mentees with valuable insight and advice from their experience and wisdom. That counsel helps young professionals avoid early pitfalls and make more effective career decisions. It also provides valuable access to professional connections and networking opportunities. Female mentorship is especially valuable. It provides women with professional guidance with feminine perspectives that a masculine mentor will lack. It’s also vital to closing the “broken rug” that keeps women out of manager level positions in most industries.

Rosewood’s own founder, Deanna Simone knows female mentoring has been and continues to be an important part of her career, “While I’ve never had an official mentor, I’ve attracted a circle of incredible women who wouldn’t hesitate to share their successes, failures, and experiences.”

Two women stand out in her mind, “I’ve been fortunate enough to have shadowed two, very important women in business, Hollie Hoadley of Creative Solutions and Nikki Pett of Sigma Promotions. Nikki was the first ‘bad-ass boss babe’ I ever knew, and I worked for her company from ages 14-17. I believe she was one of the sparks of my entrepreneurial journey. Hollie Hoadley is a current mentor. She’s 1-year ahead of me in business and is a constant form of support and inspiration, and has become a dear friend.”

The benefits of mentoring are clear for both mentees and mentors. Overall, 25% of a group who participated in a mentoring program received a salary increase in comparison to only 5% of those who did not. 87% of mentors and mentees feel empowered and confident in their careers, are respectively 6 and 5 times more likely to be promoted, and have significantly higher retention rates. This means mentoring is vital to ensuring women obtain director and managerial positions. Mentoring also improves workplace culture and increases professional diversity. A study at Cornell University found that mentoring programs also increased representation within a company by up to 28% and improved retention rates of people of colour and female employees by up to 38%.

Female mentorship is especially important for professional success in marketing because it is predominately a feminine industry. Women make up 60% of the marketing workforce in North America. That gender split has only recently started to reflect in higher level positions. Only 47% senior roles in 2019 were held by women. That grew in 2021, when 53% of director-level positions and 59% of manager-level positions were held by women. That is far better than the 37% average over all industries, where female mentoring is only more vital. Racial diversity, however, is still lagging in marketing. Only 13% of Chief Marketing Officers having racially diverse backgrounds. Mentoring is vital to continue improving both numbers, female mentoring especially. Overall, women in senior positions are far more likely than senior-level men to mentor women of colour.

After two years of the COVID pandemic, mentoring for women has only become more essential. Women disproportionately suffered the pandemic’s damages to the workplace. Their jobs were 1.8 times more vulnerable than men’s. Mounting pressures from the pandemic severely slowed and stalled women’s careers. Due to the increased time dedicated to childcare and household responsibilities, women were far more likely to downshift their careers or consider leaving their jobs entirely. In September of 2020, the number of women who left their jobs was four times greater than men

To improve and repair this damage, workplaces will need to be increasingly flexible, and employees must receive the necessary supports. Part of that support will be mentors that help their mentees manage their workloads, deal with burnout, and handle work-life balances. Only female mentors will understand how certain pressures affect other female professionals.

How to Find a Mentor

So female mentorship is important for professional success, but how do you find one? It’s best to get a mentor who has reached some of the career milestones you have set for yourself. You also don’t need to restrict yourself to one. Multiple perspectives can help you make more informed decisions. However, you’ll also need to find these mentors. There are a few places you can look for one. One option is mentoring programs. Some larger organizations provide mentoring programs, where you can receive mentorship and sponsoring support from a senior-level staff member within the company’s structure. You can also ask your manager or director for recommendations of suitable mentors they may know. 

Mentors also don’t need to be your seniors in the industry. Mentorship relationships can also be made among your colleagues who may have no or only a little more experience than you. These mentors lack the insight of one with more experience. However, they still act as a valuable sounding board for ideas or concerns. They are no less capable of providing professional guidance, perspective, and feedback. The greater equality in the relationship will also allow you to be a mentor them in return. Deanna cherishes her own cross-mentoring relationships, “The best feeling is when I can give-back and help her [Hollie] in-turn.”

If your workplace doesn’t offer mentoring programs or you can’t find a suitable mentor through your workplace, networking is a great option. Professional networking events can provide valuable opportunities to meet potential mentors in your industry. Digital networks can also help you find potential mentors such as alumni networks or LinkedIn connections. There are also networking services that provide mentoring opportunities for a fee. Monday Girl is a networking platform dedicated to connecting women with mentoring opportunities that suit their own professional goals. 

Becoming a Mentor

Mentoring also benefits mentors. So, how do you start? The same avenues we mentioned for finding a mentor also work for becoming one. You can offer yourself as a mentor in mentoring programs possibly offered by your company or to various networking services and platforms. You can also provide mentoring to those you oversee in your workplace. Your familiarity with their work gives you an advantage for how to best support their professional development. 

Mentoring relationships also don’t have to be rigid or official. Deanna’s own mentoring relationships have been what she calls “moment-mentors.” While not official mentors, they all provided her with the same professional insight and comradery as more formal mentorships.

Denna’s also been an eager “moment-mentor” herself, “I’ve been happy to share my well-rounded knowledge with female solopreneurs. Anything from proper start-up processes, do they need an HST number, what computer should they buy, what platforms should they market on, etc.” As a result, she’s also currently developing Rosewood Academy, an online course “with the specific goal of mentoring Female Solopreneurs.” Look for that in the future.

Final Comments

Mentorship is vital for supporting female professionals and ensuring women enjoy professional success, reaching and continuing to hold management- and executive-level positions. The recent pandemic has only placed additional pressures and barriers on female professionals. As a result, female mentors are crucial to building professional environments that welcome and encourage women to (again) pursue their careers. It isn’t the professional expertise that Deanna believes was most important in her mentoring, “The most valuable thing these “moment-mentors” have ever brought to my life was a feeling of belonging: knowing that, while my path is unique, it’s a collection of experiences that others have gone through before me.” 

Deanna reflects on mentorship
Blog Graphic of the Shopify logo (Green shopping bag with the letter S in the centre) with letters flying around the top of it.

In our last blog, we talked about email workflow sequences for Shopify and E-Commerce stores, specifically with nurturing leads and new customers. In this blog, we continue with that topic and what to do once you’ve converter your lead into a customer,

Here’s a refresher from the last blog :

“As a Shopify store owner, email marketing is one of the best tools on offer to help you retain customers and build relationships with potential clients. When compared to other digital marketing options, you’ll find that it offers the highest ROI and encourages more repeat purchases. The key to a successful email workflow is to find campaigns that work for your audience. Keep reading as we share some of our top email marketing ideas so you can set up email workflow sequences to build your customer base this year.” 

Welcome Emails Workflow

The first template we recommend setting up for email marketing is a welcome email. This is the message a customer will receive when they first sign up for a Shopify store’s mailing list. While you might have a template already for customers who’ve purchased from your store, you also need another one for those who have yet to convert to paying customers. Welcome emails have a higher open rate than standard promotional emails, so it’s a great time to convert customers who weren’t quite ready to invest in your products or services. A welcome email should start with a warm welcome to your new subscribers before offering a discount or incentive to purchase. Use this email to set clear expectations with your customers and encourage them to connect with you on Facebook or Instagram for more information about your Shopify store.

An Abandoned Cart Email Workflow

Customers who’ve abandoned their shopping cart were so close to purchasing from your store, so you just need to give them that final push to secure their business. Email marketing of this type should take on a series of emails, which help to push towards securing their business within a few days. The first email should come one day after the abandoned cart, and it needs to remind them of the products they left behind. Another day later, you’ll send an email that strives to overcome any objections they have. You can offer a FAQ section about the product or service or share product benefits.

Finally, 72 hours later, it’s time to offer them a discount or final incentive to purchase. Find a way to offer this discount without heavily impacting your profit margins. This three-part series is something you should have set up straight away as a new business owner and will help to convert customers who need that little extra push to part with their hard-earned cash.

Repeat Customer Emails Workflow

Repeat customers are just as important as new customers for your email marketing efforts. They make up roughly 25% of most company’s revenue, so don’t overlook building your relationship with these loyal customers. You need to treat them differently from your new customers so that they choose to return to your business over and over again in the future. A few ways to do this include checking in a couple of days after their purchase has arrived. You could also use this as a time to get their feedback or a review of your site. Following that, you’ll want to offer them customized recommendations based on their last purchase. You don’t necessarily need to rely on promo codes with these customers, as this will offer them great value and make shopping easier than before.

There are so many different ways to use email marketing as a Shopify store owner. By using a combination of the email workflow sequences we shared here today, you’ll find that you not only retain existing customers but also convert new customers to paying ones. We highly recommend creating templates that you can use over and over again so you don’t spend hours sending emails. You’ll quickly see a huge improvement to your sales when you apply all of these techniques this year, helping your Shopify store to have its best year yet in 2022. Seems like too much? Contact us today and we can help you set up your next email campaign! 


On Thursday, November 14th, Rosewood Founder & CEO, Deanna Simone spoke at the annual Entrepreneurs in Residence by the Aurora Public Library. The event invites 4 local entrepreneurs/small business owners to share their personal stories of entrepreneurship and then form a panel to answer attendees’ questions and share tips for growing your team.

Question #1: What Would You Tell Your Past Self About Your Business?

The questions were great! Deanna’s personal favourite was, “If you could go back in time and tell your entrepreneurial self something about your business, what would it be?” What a great question!

Deanna’s answer was, “I would go back and tell myself that you don’t have to do this alone. Asking for help and support is NOT a weakness. That being said, I would have encouraged myself to hire staff/subcontractors sooner. I waited 3 years into my business to hire someone, and I wish I had done it sooner!”.

She went on to say that “growing your business can be a daunting concept. Not only are you giving up control of your “baby”, but you have to spend time to find the right people. Practice your interviewing skills and know what values you are looking for in potential teammates”.

Question #2: How Did You Know It Was Time to Hire Someone?

One question was directed specifically at Deanna, “How did you know it was time to hire someone?”. My response was firstly, there were many signs and I wish I had done it sooner! I was overworked, overwhelmed and making way too many sacrifices. I remember pulling out my laptop after Thanksgiving dinner and working while eating pumpkin pie, or working until 1am Christmas morning so that I could have a few hours off the next day for Christmas dinner. There was a time I was wanting to quit because it was too much.

And then I read the book, Clockwork – How to Make Your Business Run Itself by Mike Michalowitz. It changed my life. It helped me realize that my time was better spent on certain areas. When I broke down the different tasks and responsibilities, it became clear where my time was best spent and what items could be delegated to someone else.  It also taught me about delegation, which is such a skill (but I’ll keep this for another time).

Since then, I’ve never looked back and we continue on with managed growth!

Tips for Growing Your Team

Since then Rosewood now has a solid team of three internal members, and a looser structure built up of several subcontractors who specialize in their individual areas. While there have certainly been setbacks, we wouldn’t trade it for anything. The team members we have now are the “A” team, and set the bar for attracting future talent with shared values.

Setting Your Organizational Values

My favourite saying is, “You can’t teach personality”. It’s so true! So instead of focusing on a set skill-set, I look for candidates who have the following traits:

  • Eagerness to improve the skills they already possess
  • Willingness to learn
  • Exceptional communication skills (as this is the Queen Bee Role of Rosewood as an organization)
  • Aptitude for technology (while not a personality trait, they should have a solid foundation in technical aptitude in order to build their skills)

As you can see from the list above, only one item has to do with technical skills. While this may sound bizarre coming from a technical business, if they have a solid technical foundation and an aptitude for learning – I can teach them anything.  This is partially because one of my strengths (and favourite things to do) is teach!

The Rosewood team now is exceptional. They bring in such an array of skills and foster a supportive environment. Although we’re subcontractor-based, we work as a team and foster a company culture together.

If you weren’t able to make it to the event, we’ve got you covered! Click here to watch Deanna’s presentation.