Why mentoring matters for women in tech

Mature female mentor talking to a young intern at an office meeting, mentoring concept


Kat Wellum-Kent, founder of Fractional Finance, shares her journey from a predetermined career path to launching her own business. Mentors played a crucial role in helping her recognise her entrepreneurial desire. She emphasises the importance of mentors in providing belief, aiding decision-making, and the value of having multiple mentors at different business stages.

Kat Wellum-Kent is founder of Fractional Finance, the specialist financial team that works with tech start-ups and scale-ups to achieve business excellence.

Fractional wants to work with one kind of client: entrepreneurs that are fired-up, driven, and fuelled by purpose. If this sounds like you, then you can expect to receive incredible expertise from Kat, who is a multi-award-winning specialist and has featured in the Top 50 Women in Accounting twice. With two decades’ worth of financial and business experience, 16 years of which was served with one of the Big Four, Kat achieves results. 

Picture by Clint Randall www.pixelprphotography.co.uk

I wouldn’t be where I am without mentors.  

I had a career path lined up. I was going to climb the ladder in a firm, get to partner and stay there – relishing in standing atop the career mountain. But, as life went on and my circumstances evolved, that career path became uncertain. Was it really what I wanted, or was it just what I thought I should want?

I met with one of my mentors in London on a sunny day in 2022 and we spoke about how I was going to take my next step on the career ladder. Meeting up over coffee, the conversation was meant to be about how to secure that all-important promotion. However, it’s not quite how the afternoon went.

Long story short, the promotion conversation went out of the window. Instead, that afternoon I had created a plan on a page for my own business in just two short hours. My mentor recognised in me something I knew was there, but something I’d talked myself out of for many years; the desire to run my own organisation. And there’s the first reason for engaging with a mentor.


Not many of us are brilliant at being our own cheerleaders; the voices that come with imposter syndrome can get incredibly loud as we begin to make plans to take a leap of faith. So, it’s commonplace for us to talk ourselves out of doing something we really want to do.

Mentors are the first pillar of belief that all business leaders need to make the jump into the unknown. That could be an informal mentor, like a friend or family member you really respect, or a formal mentor who has years of experience in business. No matter who it is, lean on them to recognise your potential.

Decision making

No person is an island, and making big decisions in business can feel very daunting if you’re having to do it alone. Mentors are brilliant sounding boards and can help you to make the right decisions for the business at the right time.

I’ve found in my own experience that the best mentors don’t just support with business decisions, they help you navigate life decisions that directly impact the business too. My mentors helped me to decide on aspects of my life, such as finding further support at home or understanding my own emotions to ensure I stay balanced and perform at my best.

Multiple mentors

You’ll probably have noted that I use the word mentors, rather than mentor. That’s because I believe that having multiple mentors at different stages of your business’s lifecycle is crucial.

Throughout my journey with Fractional Finance, I’ve sought out different mentors at different times, each of whom have brought something new to the table and have shaped how I operate.

In the very early stages, I needed a supporter. Someone who I felt comfortable enough to ask every question that popped into my head without fear of judgement. This person enabled me to share my insecurities and in turn, helped me to build my confidence.

Then there have been the mentors who have been specialists in their subjects. Finance is my area of expertise, but I needed so much more insight and knowledge to really get Fractional off the ground.

Without specialist mentors, owners run the risk of becoming jack of all trades, master of none. Make sure to excel at what you know and be open to welcoming others on board who can fill in the gaps.

Lastly, I have the mentors that are there for me when I need them most. And these are, in my opinion, the most important mentors. They’re my friends, my family, and my connections who I can lean on in more challenging times. They’re the people who motivate me to succeed.

Building a business on a mentorship model

Mentorship has been one of the most integral parts of my business journey, and my personal journey. So, when I came to build Fractional Finance, I wanted the core elements and values of mentorship to shape the foundations of the business.

I wanted our team to be an amalgamation of all mentors a business leader needs in their life. We’re the experts who can help leaders navigate unfamiliar waters, we’re the supporters who are here to listen without judgement, and we’re also the friends who will motivate you to succeed. If this sounds like something you want from your finance team as you start-up or scale-up, get in touch.



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