Alison Martin-Books: She’s Passing the Torch

February 28 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Share and Share Alike

Have you ever worked with someone you just know never shared anything when he was a kid? He could never participate in the relay race on Field Day because he couldn’t bear to let go of the baton. While that’s super annoying in elementary school, in your adult career, it can be downright unbearable to deal with a selfish co-worker. His version of collaboration is telling you you’re doing it all wrong. How infuriating! Today, instead of stooping to that dude’s miserly level and scheming your evil plan for his demise, brainstorm some go-to coping strategies and share those tips with your friendlier colleagues. I’m sure everyone will be grateful for you sharing.


In the business world, sharing is vital. I’m talking about mentorship, and having someone to guide you through the often-treacherous waters of business life. Mentorship is particularly important for women. But while 80 percent of women in senior roles say they’ve served as formal mentors, according to one study, only 63 percent of businesswomen have had a mentor.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Alison Martin-Books, Founder of the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation

Part of being a mentor means being open to shaping future leaders without feeling put-upon or threatened. That’s why we’re so impressed with today’s Woman to Watch and her complete dedication to providing effective mentorship for women. Alison Martin-Books started the nonprofit Pass the Torch for Women Foundation as a way to address the needs of women throughout their careers—from “What’s a fax?” to “Who should I promote?” to “How do I reach the C-suite?”

Alison hopes to build a tradition of women helping other women by encouraging each of us to pass along that fiery career passion that never extinguishes, and a few helpful tips along the way. That hope rises from Alison’s vision of a world in which all women are equitably represented at all levels of leadership in business and government, and she’s certainly doing her part to make sure that dream becomes reality. And it all starts with mentorship.

Funds raised by the Pass the Torch for Women Foundation enable the organization to provide mentors and professional training to female college students, all with the goal of transitioning them into the workforce with a virtual playbook of tactics for success.

The student-focused program, called Project Grow, has helped hundreds of young women to achieve their goals for higher education and career advancement. The program provides leadership-skill-building modules focused on everything from how to grow your network to building a resume and managing career stress, and participants get an individualized action plan to set them up for success.

Alison ensures her organization’s mentors participate in mentor-certification training, so there’s little guesswork in how to be an effective mentor, and those in training also get the opportunity to meet and bounce ideas off other mentors. It’s a great way for mentors to gain the best knowledge to help their mentees, and it also expands mentors’ own networks of senior-level women. Talk about a win-win!

Obviously, Alison is no stranger to business success and the importance of mentorship. She boasts an entrepreneurial background and never shies away from boosting other women’s careers. She’s also the founder and chief mentoring officer of a consulting practice called Diverse Talent Strategies, which helps companies attract, retain and develop their talent through mentoring and targeted training.

We’re grateful to Alison for creating an organization that provides impactful mentorship and promise to the next generation of successful businesswomen. She truly is passing the torch!


With Alison Martin-Books and her foundation’s work in mind, today’s quote comes from Whoopi Goldberg:

“We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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