How The Power of Mentorship Affects Change

Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
November 14, 2022

Lucinda Cochrane, Managing Director, Compliance and Risk Management Executive at Bank of America, discusses the power of mentorship with 10KC.

Lucinda Cochrane, a senior executive at Bank of America, believes in mentorship. Her core leadership philosophy is rooted in connecting with others. She’s an active ally to women and minority groups, and is particularly invested in the Hispanic and Latino employee networks within her company. In this wide-ranging interview, Cochrane spoke to 10KC about the benefits of joining employee networks as an ally and mentor, the joy she experiences helping her mentees achieve success, and how mentorship fits into a company’s overall diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.

10KC: Tell us a bit about yourself and the organizations that you're currently involved with.

Lucinda Cochrane: I'm part of numerous employee networks within Bank of America. One
of the networks i'm actively involved in is HOLA, which is intended to attract and engage its Hispanic and Latino employees. That introduced me to ALPFA (Association of Latino Professional for America), a partner of 10KC, and HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement). I’m also involved in several mentoring organizations within the company like the “Power of 10” program which is for women to get together and mentor each other, and I'm also a mentor for the Cherie Blair Foundation. You notice a theme here — I enjoy mentoring people!

10KC: How did you become so involved in mentoring others?

Cochrane: My parents both worked for the government and they didn't go to college. When I went to college, I was on my own. Navigating private industry was new and different.

Once I started working, I was fortunate to have people take an interest in me through mentorship which helped advance my career. Whether it was somebody informally saying, ‘Hey, you know, I really liked what you said in the meeting, and I think you could be very impactful,’ or people who helped me make connections and broaden my professional network – those things were incredibly impactful for me personally – and I realized that I could pay it forward through mentorship.

10KC: How does being a mentor help you excel in your current role at Bank of America?

Cochrane: It's helped me become a better leader and a better manager, because I can take a different approach with my team to help them advance their careers, or develop their own problem-solving skills. It’s also made me more sensitive. For example, finding ways to invite individuals into the conversation without putting them on the spot. Maybe saying, ‘Oh, we were talking to so-and-so the other day and you had some great ideas, maybe you'd like to share those with the group.’

Mentoring has made me more aware of situations where people might have a feeling of not belonging at the table; and how I can become an active ally. It's very important to offer a helping hand to others through mentoring and allyship. I feel it's incumbent upon me to share all the things that I've learned and to help others find an easier road, or at least avoid making the same mistakes I did.

10KC: What positive outcomes have you seen from mentoring others?

Cochrane: I mentored a small business owner in India throughout the pandemic — she owns a salon. I would talk to her and ask her questions. Do you know how much you make on this product? What are your expenses like? How can you control the expense side? It’s interesting to see the thought processes begin to evolve. These are smart women who know how to run businesses. They've been successful to a certain point but when they reach a stage of adversity, I help them think through what you can and can’t control.

Through this relationship, I’ve built a level of trust with the person, and we’ve become friends. When she posts on LinkedIn, I applaud her every time because I love seeing her achieve success. I'm inspired by the people I've had the privilege of mentoring and to see the changes they’ve made in their lives, as well as how they've grown and adapted. It's gratifying to see those changes because of conversations we’ve had. It was also an opportunity for me to learn from someone on the other side of the world.

10KC: Where do you see mentorship fitting into an organization's diversity, equity, and
inclusion strategy?

Cochrane: Mentorship is a critical piece of an organization’s DEI strategy. I am a woman, so I understand what it’s like to feel different in the room, how to fight for your place at the table and how important that is.
Mentorship helps individuals have the confidence to come into the room and feel like they belong. Having somebody to independently bounce your ideas off or discuss your insecurities helps. I like to tell people — you wouldn't be there if somebody didn't think you belonged. When you think about people of different ethnicities, or people of colour, or people from another country or who have an accent because English isn't their first language, all those things play into how you see yourself and what you want to project to other people. You want to highlight those good qualities and contributions and make sure that you're heard, and mentoring can help people achieve that.

10KC: What advice do you have for people who want to be mentored or become a mentor?
Cochrane: Think about what your goals are for the relationship and your career overall. Whether you're a mentor or mentee, what do you hope to get out of the experience and the relationship? That will help guide you to the right place.

Everybody expects each mentoring match to be a good one. Not every match is good. Maybe you're not on the same wavelength, or there’s a personality clash, or the mentor you matched with doesn't have the skills and experience you were hoping for.

Don't be afraid to ask for a different match or to hurt the mentor’s feelings. If the mentee is feeling that way, the mentor probably is too. A successful relationship requires trust. Making sure your goals and skills are aligned is an important aspect to a successful mentoring relationship.

Webinar

How The Power of Mentorship Affects Change

Lucinda Cochrane, Managing Director, Compliance and Risk Management Executive at Bank of America, discusses the power of mentorship with 10KC.

Lucinda Cochrane, a senior executive at Bank of America, believes in mentorship. Her core leadership philosophy is rooted in connecting with others. She’s an active ally to women and minority groups, and is particularly invested in the Hispanic and Latino employee networks within her company. In this wide-ranging interview, Cochrane spoke to 10KC about the benefits of joining employee networks as an ally and mentor, the joy she experiences helping her mentees achieve success, and how mentorship fits into a company’s overall diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy.

10KC: Tell us a bit about yourself and the organizations that you're currently involved with.

Lucinda Cochrane: I'm part of numerous employee networks within Bank of America. One
of the networks i'm actively involved in is HOLA, which is intended to attract and engage its Hispanic and Latino employees. That introduced me to ALPFA (Association of Latino Professional for America), a partner of 10KC, and HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement). I’m also involved in several mentoring organizations within the company like the “Power of 10” program which is for women to get together and mentor each other, and I'm also a mentor for the Cherie Blair Foundation. You notice a theme here — I enjoy mentoring people!

10KC: How did you become so involved in mentoring others?

Cochrane: My parents both worked for the government and they didn't go to college. When I went to college, I was on my own. Navigating private industry was new and different.

Once I started working, I was fortunate to have people take an interest in me through mentorship which helped advance my career. Whether it was somebody informally saying, ‘Hey, you know, I really liked what you said in the meeting, and I think you could be very impactful,’ or people who helped me make connections and broaden my professional network – those things were incredibly impactful for me personally – and I realized that I could pay it forward through mentorship.

10KC: How does being a mentor help you excel in your current role at Bank of America?

Cochrane: It's helped me become a better leader and a better manager, because I can take a different approach with my team to help them advance their careers, or develop their own problem-solving skills. It’s also made me more sensitive. For example, finding ways to invite individuals into the conversation without putting them on the spot. Maybe saying, ‘Oh, we were talking to so-and-so the other day and you had some great ideas, maybe you'd like to share those with the group.’

Mentoring has made me more aware of situations where people might have a feeling of not belonging at the table; and how I can become an active ally. It's very important to offer a helping hand to others through mentoring and allyship. I feel it's incumbent upon me to share all the things that I've learned and to help others find an easier road, or at least avoid making the same mistakes I did.

10KC: What positive outcomes have you seen from mentoring others?

Cochrane: I mentored a small business owner in India throughout the pandemic — she owns a salon. I would talk to her and ask her questions. Do you know how much you make on this product? What are your expenses like? How can you control the expense side? It’s interesting to see the thought processes begin to evolve. These are smart women who know how to run businesses. They've been successful to a certain point but when they reach a stage of adversity, I help them think through what you can and can’t control.

Through this relationship, I’ve built a level of trust with the person, and we’ve become friends. When she posts on LinkedIn, I applaud her every time because I love seeing her achieve success. I'm inspired by the people I've had the privilege of mentoring and to see the changes they’ve made in their lives, as well as how they've grown and adapted. It's gratifying to see those changes because of conversations we’ve had. It was also an opportunity for me to learn from someone on the other side of the world.

10KC: Where do you see mentorship fitting into an organization's diversity, equity, and
inclusion strategy?

Cochrane: Mentorship is a critical piece of an organization’s DEI strategy. I am a woman, so I understand what it’s like to feel different in the room, how to fight for your place at the table and how important that is.
Mentorship helps individuals have the confidence to come into the room and feel like they belong. Having somebody to independently bounce your ideas off or discuss your insecurities helps. I like to tell people — you wouldn't be there if somebody didn't think you belonged. When you think about people of different ethnicities, or people of colour, or people from another country or who have an accent because English isn't their first language, all those things play into how you see yourself and what you want to project to other people. You want to highlight those good qualities and contributions and make sure that you're heard, and mentoring can help people achieve that.

10KC: What advice do you have for people who want to be mentored or become a mentor?
Cochrane: Think about what your goals are for the relationship and your career overall. Whether you're a mentor or mentee, what do you hope to get out of the experience and the relationship? That will help guide you to the right place.

Everybody expects each mentoring match to be a good one. Not every match is good. Maybe you're not on the same wavelength, or there’s a personality clash, or the mentor you matched with doesn't have the skills and experience you were hoping for.

Don't be afraid to ask for a different match or to hurt the mentor’s feelings. If the mentee is feeling that way, the mentor probably is too. A successful relationship requires trust. Making sure your goals and skills are aligned is an important aspect to a successful mentoring relationship.

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