Ministry in Business Practice: Profiling Caroline Mendez, called4, LLC

–       Dave Doty

Caroline Mendez has a fascinating life story to tell. But more than that, she has her life to give for Christian women business leaders. A self-made woman professionally, Caroline literally rose from the mailroom to the executive suite as a vice president with an information technology company. She spun that and other professional experience into a consultancy coaching entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers financial planners, and business executives helping them develop leadership skills and redesign their organizations for greater performance. Then she came to Christ.

With the accumulation of her professional skills, Caroline joined the C12 Group (www.c12group.com) as a Chairperson of C12 North Georgia Leadership where she has fully integrated her expertise and her desire to advance God’s Kingdom through the women-led businesses in the Metro-Atlanta marketplace.

While it is recognized that equality for women in many parts of the world is a still a struggle, Caroline’s heart was turned by the realization that even today in the West, women often struggle to rise into the executive ranks of business. What stood out to Caroline was how natural it seemed for men to enter into mentoring relationships, even proactively taking younger colleagues under their wing. But most of the women she met have been flying solo and often felt isolated or abandoned. And, she noticed, women must work harder and smarter to achieve many of the same leadership goals and positions as men.

What she found at church to answer her professional questions as to why was not of much help either. The prevailing models the church seems to support are almost exclusively that of wives and moms. [I can attest, having moved to the North Atlanta area just over a year ago, there are dozens of local small groups meeting weekly tailored for men, including how their faith should integrate into their work lives. There appear to be almost none of those same groups for women. – Dave] That is what motivated Caroline to launch the Christian Women-Leader Advisory Boards with C12, the first of its kind nationally.

Her assessment of why women were not finding the same peer support as men at work led her to find that some women fear sharing what they have gained for fear that somehow it might lessen their success, or make them appear “weak”. Others, having toughed through a lengthy and tedious battle to rise in business, believed the benefits they gained by going the route of hard knocks would somehow benefit other women trying to reach the same goals . . . but only if those other women had to fight through the same way. And some women, like some men, were simply too competitive or prideful, to help anyone gain corporate ground, let alone another woman who might supplant them.

These experiences, coupled with God’s promptings, led Caroline to launch her personal ministry to women, through C12, to develop their leadership gifts and advance the reach of their organizations. She wants to foster a new dynamic and mentality:  that as Christian women, they are all in this together and, by extending themselves for other women, all women gain.

I have known Caroline for about six months now and I think what jumps out at me when we talk are several things. While Caroline is gregarious and transparent as a piece of rice paper, you can also tell she is a no-nonsense professional. If you are not interested in applying yourself to your God-given work, don’t waste her time. She even has clients sign covenants to toe the line in their commitment to their business and personal development.

At the same time, it is hard to imagine a more energetic and helpful shepherd than Caroline when you are ready to step up. But most of all, Caroline has the heart for making disciples of Jesus Christ in and through their business. Her faith in God, to be used as His tool, and to serve God’s Kingdom are at the forefront of her pursuits. She stands on the truth of the Bible that admonishes women to mentor younger women, such as Naomi, a righteous woman, advising her daughter-in-law, Ruth. And that the leadership roles of women in the Bible, such as the Prophetesses Miriam and Deborah, Esther, Mary Magdalene, and so many others, illuminate the important roles God has for women in ministry today, and for working women, that means today, in your place of work.

If you have the opportunity to meet Caroline, you will immediately be taken with the warm, joyful person before you. And if you spend any time with her at all, you will soon discover she is on a mission from God to change the landscape of women-led business, and one that she, through God’s grace, will accomplish!

Read more about or contact Caroline at http://www.c12northgeorgia.com/caroline-mendez-c12-chair.

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