I had an exceptional mentor early in my career. This was in the late 1970s, a different era in the accounting profession. Back then, developing talent was not a high priority. It was largely up to the individual to figure out what to do to advance his or her career. I was very lucky to have had access to a partner who took an interest in developing me.

I was one of the first women professionals to work in our Miami office. The practice had no history of developing women—much less Hispanic women—so I was an unknown quantity. Fortunately, my mentor saw a lot of potential in me and provided the training and guidance I needed to become a good auditor. He helped me understand how to manage relationships with clients and associates; saw to it that I got assignments that offered breadth and visibility; and helped prepareme for partner candidacy. His guidance and encouragement helped give me the confidence to stretch and take on new challenges.

Most importantly, he taught me to believe in myself. Through his and others’ examples, I’ve learned a lot about being an effective coach and mentor.Iconsider it a privilege to guide talented people who go on to grow our business, lead teams, and in turn mentor others. I take particular pride in having successfully mentored and coached some colleagues whose potential was not initially recognized by others. We have so many bright, talented, and ambitious people at Deloitte. We strongly promote mentoring as a way for experienced colleagues to share their knowledge to help others be successful. It’s deeply satisfying for me to see the positive impact mentoring has on people—both in their performance for our organization and how they feel about themselves and their abilities.

People like to work in an environment where they have strong relationships and feel connected and valued. I believe mentoring and coaching are integral to creating that type of environment. I’ve stayed at Deloitte for 30 years largely because of the bonds I’ve developed here