Interview with Stef Stanley, Co-Founder of Ok Mentor

Ok Mentor is a free crash course and mentorship programme focused on personal development and teaching commercial and practical skills to women trying to break into creative industries. Our sessions are taught by senior women across different creative fields and cover ‘know-hows’ that normally take us many years to learn. From nailing your first client pitch to writing the best follow-up emails to taxes, we cover it all! Our goal is to significantly impact the global economy of female talent by helping more women succeed faster.
Programs — OK MENTOR

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

My cofounder Liz and I came together due to a shared desire to give back. Both Liz and I recognized it was time to do something for women, something big, and together we started identifying how to drive change at scale. What if senior women could pass all of their knowledge and tips and tricks to the next generation? Could that significantly impact how fast we change the gender pay gap? Could that impact how often women get to senior positions? The answer was a clear yes.

We then noticed mentorship wasn’t really available to women, especially ones focused on creative industries. We also realised that most courses available were fluffy and didn’t really get into the ‘how’ and practical ways women could succeed. To top it off, the reason women weren’t mentoring more was because of the time commitment required and that’s when Ok Mentor was born.

We began with our network of women and knowledge to build a crash course that not only allowed young girls to learn everything that took us 10-15 years to learn, but also giving them access to senior women across the globe. By default, we were also enabling the mentors to do something good that fit their schedule, by giving them the opportunity to mentor in a crash manner (1-3 hours only).The idea was unique and needed and within one year we had 40 women volunteering as part-time staff, with thousands of mentors and mentees around the world.


What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Our success came from a combination of having a clear USP, a good product/market fit and a visual brand that brought that to life and inspired people to get involved. Given we are a non-profit, our success relied on people wanting to be part of what we were building (mentees, mentors and volunteers), resulting in brands wanting to partner and donate, which is what kept us alive.

Because of that, I would say my biggest advice is to focus on the purpose of your solution and how to effectively bring that to life for others – that’s what’s going to make you stand out. A product/service is just as good as you position it to your audience and knowing how to get people excited was a big key to our early success. Focus on understanding what moves people and how you can inspire them to want to be part of the world you are creating and your brand.

What can we hope to see from Ok Mentor in the future?

We have amazing plans ahead, from hosting our first Summit to launching a product that will enable 1-1 mentoring at scale. We are planning to go live In the next 6-12 and hope this solution will make mentoring accessible to everyone, everywhere, based on their needs.