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Workplace Mentoring: The Diversity & Inclusion Key

Workplace Mentoring: The Diversity & Inclusion Key

Workplace mentoring programs drive D&I success

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are a top focus for countries and are not a passing trend. Given the strong business outcomes case for having a diverse and inclusive workforce, along with social groups and movements, having a strong D&I strategy is necessary in such a competitive talent market. For many of the companies listed on Diversity Inc.’s 2019 Top 50 Companies for Diversity, they all have a common thread of using mentorship as a key role within their diversity and inclusion strategy.

If your company is looking to maximize tangible benefits of diversity and inclusion, here are a few reasons why mentorship should be included in your strategy:

Mentorship creates a pathway for promotion and retention of minority groups

Mentors are typically SMEs and leaders that have excelled within the workforce. When combined with inclusion and diversity efforts, mentorship programs that actively engage those that are underrepresented in the workforce, lead to greater retention and visibility of these groups within the organization. According to the Association for Talent Development (ATD), 44% of CEOs cited that mentorship programs as one of the three most valuable strategies to advance women into Senior Management. Mentors can give their mentees visibility and serve as a sponsor within the organization.

A 2016 study published by Cornell University showed that mentorship programs helped to increase the promotion and retention rates of minority men and women by 15-38% compared to non-mentored minorities.

Mentorship is a tool to help promote an inclusive organizational culture that supports diverse perspectives and drives engagement

When an organization supports mentoring engagements (that infuse D&I strategies) it provides the opportunity for mentees and mentors to share not only professional insights, but also engage at a 1:1 level to foster relationships that create inclusion and belonging. The technique of reverse mentoring within the mentorship engagement can help in driving conversations across cross-generational and cultural lines.

If your goal is to support a more diverse and inclusive workplace, then mentoring should be a part of that strategy. Mentoring can support employee connection, build a positive culture, and increase promotion of underrepresented groups. For more advice on how mentoring can support your D&I initiative, contact ementorconnect.com.

Yolanda Johnson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Highly energetic and enthusiastic HR professional. Skilled in aligning business strategy with talent management programs that initiate and sustain corporate culture change. Demonstrated ability to apply a systematic process for analyzing human performance gaps and closing them