linkedin.jpgWomen think mentors are important when it comes to their career advancement but many don’t have one.

That according to a LinkedIn survey released today. The study found that nearly one in five women have never had a mentor, even tough 82 percent say they believe having a mentor is a career boon. And Baby Boomers are dropping the mentor ball more often than Gen Y.

Many women polled said they couldn’t find an appropriate mentor. But when women were asked why they don’t mentor women they said, “no one ever asked.”

“Half of getting a mentor is asking,” said Betsy Myers, founding director for the Center of Women & Business at Bentley University, during her talk at the Pennsylvania Women’s Conference today.

It may be a dumb career move, for both men and women, not to find a mentor, especially if you’re trying to climb the corporate ladder.

A well-placed, successful, encouraging mentor can be your champion if you want to get noticed by the higher-ups but don’t have the stomach to let everyone know how great you are. And a mentor can also help you navigate the ins and outs of what is still a good-ol’-boys network in the upper echelon of the business world, which includes less than 20 percent women in executive officer positions or corporate board seats.

Sharon Allen, the former chair of Deloitte’s board, once told me: “I can’t stress enough how important mentoring is to achieving success in one’s career.” She credited the mentors she’s had in her career with helping her enter the small club of high-ranking women executives.

Here are some details from the LinkedIn study:

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