Bizwomen Mentoring Monday

April 9, 2014 Updated Apr 9, 2014 at 8:48 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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April 9, 2014 Updated Apr 9, 2014 at 8:48 AM EDT

This week, forty of the area's top female executives lent their time to help mentor women in Western New York in a fast-paced atmosphere similar to speed dating.

After each five minute session was up, mentees would shuffle from one mentor to the next. Mentors came from all industries ranging from finance and healthcare to law and communications.

This was part of a national event called Bizwomen Mentoring Monday. It took place in forty cities across the U.S. from Albany to Hawaii. Thousands of women took part, including hundreds here in Buffalo, proving that Western New York has strong women in leadership positions. Many mentors are eager to take part in the event that is becoming an annual tradition.

"I'm hoping that Bizwomen and Business First will follow up with the event again," said Kelly Hair, a financial advisor with Edward Jones, who sponsored the event. "I think it's a great opportunity especially for women leaders in the community. It helps identify how many female leaders there are in our community and the vast resources we have in Buffalo."

Others like Sharon Lochocki, senior vice president at Key Bank, say since the event was designed as mentoring, a lot of women came prepared with direct questions that sometimes you wouldn't feel comfortable asking during a networking event. "We're so time constricted," she said. "With an event like this, they had the opportunity to talk to so many different women about their experience and get in front of so many and build centers of influence. It was a great opportunity and a great event."

Mentoring Monday also launched Bizwomen, a website designed just for women in business. You can find it at bizjournals.com/bizwomen.

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