“I’ve never met a woman I couldn’t learn from.”The founding principle of Pink Mentor Network
Stacy Cassio is the Founder and CEO of Pink Mentor Network, an organization dedicated to connecting women through mentorships. She started Pink Mentor Network two years ago as a side hustle (#bossbabe) based on her curiosity of how women find mentorships. “I found that it was very difficult to go beyond coffee and the initial conversation,” she said. “I wanted to know how we could get to the next level.” Stacy left her full-time job last year to pursue her passion and invest in herself via the Pink Mentor Network business she started from the ground up.
Stacy always had great mentors who taught her about Marketing and Business Operations. The absence of women in a role where she was leading an engineering team is what inspired her to look for female mentors. She wanted strong female examples of leadership. “It just didn’t exist at that time,” she said, “So I went outside the organization looking for it.”
“We need examples to mimic the courage and bravery of entrepreneurs.”
Pink Mentor Network didn’t start as a women’s only organization. At its inception, it was a group of Charlotte, NC transplants. She changed the format to accommodate for the vulnerability she found in women. “Mentorship is about being a strong leader,” she noted. “You need examples and mentorships help to explore what is out there.”
Pink Mentor Network now has over 1,400 members with 240 mentors. It’s very different than a typical mentorship, as the community is holding each other accountable for growth and inspiration. “It’s been so much fun to watch all the growth that has occurred within these women!” she said happily. She conducts monthly “pop-up” events around the Charlotte, NC area with 12-15 women, one mentor, and one host at a female-led business or venue. The mentor shares her experience and expertise and the group asks questions. There are about 6-8 pop-up events per month in the Charlotte area.
“We initially think of mentoring as one relationship you carry through your life, but what if you had many different relationships you could build for conversations with specific needs?”
Mentorship doesn’t exist in just one relationship. Every woman needs seven types of mentors in her life. “You don’t always know who to ask or what questions to ask your mentor,” said Stacy. “We don’t do a great job about being specific about our needs and we expect our mentors to have all the answers.” Different mentors can fulfill specific goals and answer specific questions.
Stacy’s business continues to grow and thrive. By the end of this year, she’ll have a published book about mentorship and the principles of the organization. Beyond that, she’s looking forward to moving into new communities. “When you have a community built on gratitude and experiences,” she said, “you can learn so much.”