Mentorship can be a fantastic boost for anyone, but it can be particularly helpful for women who seek out the mentorship of other women. Sexism in the workplace, equal pay issues, and a heavy saturation of men in an office--especially if there's a lingering Old Boy's Club mentality--can make it a challenge for a woman to achieve her maximum potential. Luckily, there are trailblazers who have likely been there before you, forging paths and learning the tough lessons that others can learn from. Same-gendered mentorships can be especially beneficial since there are shared challenges and experiences that mixed-gender mentorships don't have as a foundation.

However, there is one obstacle in establishing a mentorship relationship that surpasses gender: actually finding and nurturing the relationship. For the young female professional looking to kickstart a mentorship, begin by looking right under your nose. Are there any established women in your business or professional network you look up to?

"There are no set rules when it comes to a mentor's age, their profession, or their history of being a mentor. What is most important is that you build a relationship with a potential mentor who you respect and who has achieved different benchmarks that you too would like to achieve," says Tiffany Pham, Founder & CEO of MOGUL, an online platform that helps women connect with each other, share information and access knowledge. "You may find you have multiple mentors throughout your life--each of whom teaches you important lessons along the way, built from their own experiences and perspectives."

MOGUL Founder & CEO Tiffany Pham, at NYC headquarters

Are You Mentee Material?

Just like a mentor isn't always ready or available to be in that role, the same goes for the mentee. This is a relationship that, ideally, is symbiotic. What are you bringing to the table? A good mentee is proactive, open to listening and constructive criticism, is available to make the time with a mentor count, and has clearly established short-term and long-term goals. If you're not sure where you'd like to be in five years or are way too swamped to take on another responsibility, be prepared for a mentor to call you out on this, or just sit out the relationship entirely.

As for mentors, only you can decide if you have the desire and time to commit to such an arrangement. If someone is seeking you out to be their mentor, it's likely that you are, to at least some degree, successful, established, and have a knack for taking on many tasks--like many Type-A personalities. It's important not to feel guilted into being a mentor. If you're not emotionally invested in the relationship 100 percent, your mentee will not benefit fully and you ultimately may waste both your time.

Setting the Ground Rules

In some instances, there are official mentorship programs in which each member of the relationship signs an agreement of rules and commitments. This works for many people, but not all. Even if you prefer a more laid back approach to mentorship, it doesn't necessarily mean you should wing it. It helps to establish roles, goals, and responsibilities. In fact, this can be one of the first tasks the mentor-mentee does together. What are both parties willing to give and wanting to get from the mentorship? What are the timeframes? Should there be an end in sight?

There are subtle things that separate a mentorship from a friendship, and it's important not to blur these lines. This can be especially difficult in same-gendered mentorships. A friendship may certainly blossom from a mentorship, but "friend-only" type of activities (such as discussing your love life) should be shelved until after the mentorship has officially ended. This evolution my follow a set time frame or it may happen naturally.

Most importantly, bear in mind that there are no hard and fast rules with a mentorship. You don't need to have a age difference in order to be successful, but that may help separate friendship from mentorship. You don't technically need to be in the same industry, but that can certainly help. Just like in any relationship, only the two people involved can decide if it's beneficial and worth pursuing.