NY Magazine recently asked Carla, “How could we get a woman like you to mentor us?”

Carla’s answer is excerpted below. Head over to NYMag.com for the full article:

The No. 1 criterion for me in terms of people I mentor is whether a person is willing to do it for somebody else. If I’m going to invest the time with you, if I am going to get up at 6 a.m. on my way to the airport and call you about an issue you might have, I have to feel comfortable that when somebody calls you at six in the morning that you’re going to do the same thing for them. I also look for someone who has courage to follow the advice. I can give you advice all day long, but at the end of the day, you’re the one that has to have the courage to take it. I’d say the third thing that I’m looking for is someone who has the ability to adapt and pivot quickly. Sometimes you might be on the wrong road, and the advice I might give you as a mentor will require an immediate shift.

I don’t think that asking someone to be a mentor or sponsor makes you seem disingenuous at all. People struggle with the active nature of asking for sponsorship, because all of us wish somebody would just take us under their wing and shepherd us along. But when that relationship doesn’t just happen, if you are in any environment — whether it’s a nonprofit, whether it is new media, whether it is technology — you must speak up. You are the one who is responsible for your own career, so it’s your responsibility to ask.