Shared from City of Sacramento, original article here. Rita Kakati-Shah didn’t have a mentor in her formative years, when she started working in finance, as one of the few women on the trading floor. It wasn’t until years later that she understood what she’d been missing.

Managers at her company had given Kakati-Shah some amount of guidance in her early years, but it was largely generic. “A manager isn’t someone who can champion you internally,” she says. “I needed someone who could get me to the next step.”

Kakati-Shah worked for Goldman Sachs in London for 10 years, where she became actively involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives. “I fell naturally into it,” she says, before transitioning into the healthcare industry, working in clinical trials and business development. Then, she got married, settled in New York and took four years off to focus on raising her family’s two small children. “Out of the many jobs I’ve had, momhood is by far the hardest. You can never take a sick day. It taught me a lot.”

Her experience as a mom inspired her to found Uma, a company that empowers and builds the confidence of women on the next step in their own journey. Uma offers one-on-one work, guidance for individuals on inclusion, workplace culture and senior management. “It gives them more clarity about what to do next,” she says. “When you’re an entrepreneur, you have a million and ten things to do all at once. We help you prioritize that list.”

“When you’re an entrepreneur, you have a million and ten things to do all at once. We help you prioritize that list.”

Sacramento is already home to committed business mentors like Kakati-Shah, who spend dozens of hours of their time paying their success and professional experience forward. Mentor Sacramento provides a new opportunity to connect safely and meaningfully, as a virtual volunteer on the platform.

While mentors don’t do the work of their mentees, mentoring is fulfilling because it deepens personal and community connections, feels purposeful, leads to learning of new industries and topics, and helps to refine leadership and communication skills. Experienced Mentors are the key to entrepreneurial success and the catalyst for Sacramento’s economic recovery and growth. For Sacramento’s community of successful business leaders and experienced professionals, Mentor Sacramento provides a convenient and meaningful way to give back, within a flexible time commitment.

“We’re all where we are because of our past experiences. You don’t have to go it alone.” Rita Kakati-Shah, founder, Uma